Fundraising dog week with a dif-fur-ence at West Midlands Safari Park
Animal antics will be part of a special fundraising week at West Midland Safari Park - dedicated to supporting dogs in Africa who help to protect and conserve endangered rhinos and cheetahs.
Conservation Dogs will run at the Kidderminster attraction from September 9 -17, whereby staff will aim to raise awareness of the vital role dogs play in conservation programmes for wildlife.
All the funds raised during the week will go towards Save The Rhino International Dog Squad and a research project to aid the work of the Cheetah Outreach’s Livestock Guarding Dog (LGD) Programme.
During the week, a variety of fun activities, quizzes and competitions will take place, including the chance to win an exclusive Cheetah Feed for two.
The Park’s Conservation Tent will house interesting facts and information, and there will be an opportunity to purchase badges of the Park’s cheetahs, rhinos or sponsored dogs.
Katie McDonald, research and conservation officer, said: “Dogs are the new ‘best friends’ of wildlife conservation. Increasingly, those working to protect threatened species are using dogs for a huge variety of tasks. These range from sniffing out illegally sourced products of animal origin, such as ivory, to disarming rhino poachers.
“During our Conservation Dogs campaign, we want to spread the word about how dogs are employed in conservation and raise funds to help two conservation initiatives. Cheetah Outreach’s LGD Programme supplies guard dogs to farmers in Africa. The dogs protect livestock from predators, such as cheetahs, reducing the farmers’ need to remove carnivores from their lands. In Kenya, the Save The Rhino International Dog Squad uses dogs to track and disarm poachers who would otherwise kill black and white rhinos for their horns.”
To support the fundraising for Conservation Dogs, several brave keepers will also be participating in the Great Birmingham Run on October 15.
Rosie Wilkes, from the Wildlife Team, added: “Through conservation weeks at WMSP, we have a wonderful opportunity to raise funds for some really great causes. As the last week is focussed on how dogs are being used to support conservation work, we have organised a fun and challenging dog walk with the keepers and their canine companions.”
For all of the Park’s conservation weeks, local artist Zaza Shelley will also be producing limited edition prints of the Park’s animals, including the cheetahs and rhinos.
Save The Rhino International Dog Squad’s is made up of dog and handler teams that are trained to deter and detect poachers in Kenya.