Work at EWCP certainly didn’t slow down as they neared the end of the year.
It was business as usual, with our wolf monitors, vaccination team and education team continuing with their programmes towards securing a future for the endangered Ethiopian wolves.
Over the last few months of 2011 we’ve seen pups born in both the Web Valley and Sanetti, we’ve celebrated Rabies Day 2011, and with Born Free’s help we’ve equipped the local Dinsho School with new desks, books and a solid fence around their tree nursery.
Rabies Day 2011
Rabies Day was a huge success in 2011, with the celebrations moving from their usual location in Dinsho to another town alongside wolf habitat, Goba. The Sanetti Primary School were the hosts for the celebrations, and they took to their assignment admirably, with the children making great posters and signs to wave during the big anti-rabies march through town, and a variety of plays and songs being performed afterwards.
We even had a re-enactment of an EWCP dog vaccination by the pupils, but thankfully the chosen ‘puppy’ didn’t have to face the vet team’s needle! The celebrations were timed to coincide with market day in Goba, and the children and teachers took the opportunity to hand out stickers and rabies information booklets to market goers and farmers. The day was a huge success in helping to raise awareness about this deadly disease that remains as one of the largest threats to the Ethiopian wolves.
2011’s Wolf Pups make their first appearance
After the canine distemper outbreak that swept through Bale’s wolf population last year, we were anxious that the surviving wolf packs would have a good breeding season this year, helping to boost numbers in the population. Our monitors have spent many weeks in the field visiting our focal packs, eagerly looking for signs of mating, pregnancy, and birth, and were rewarded in November with the first sightings of a new batch of wolf puppies from four packs in the Web Valley. These pups are starting to wean now, with the adults all helping to bring them rodent food, so they can learn to eat solids. The Sanetti wolves always breed a little later than the Web packs, and we are happy to report the emergence of the first set of tiny pups from the BBC pack – four little black bundles, not all that steady on their feet yet, that we hope will grow into strong healthy adults, contributing to the Sanetti population.
Dinsho School says a big, traditional Thank You!
EWCP has a long-standing and very positive relationship with the Dinsho School, where we carry out regular education activities, which include supporting the school’s long-running nature club. And through Born Free’s Global Friends Initiative, EWCP has helped the school in the past to build new classrooms and buy textbooks and stationery.
Recently, Born Free’s founder and trustee, Virginia McKenna, travelled to the Bale Mountains and amongst her many activities took the time to pay a visit the Dinsho School, where the children welcomed her with songs and dances. Born Free then pledged funds to help the school with their tree nursery, as well as buying much-needed desks and books. Over the past few months EWCP has helped the school to buy the textbooks and fencing material for the nursery, and also ordered over 60 desks to be made by a local carpenters’ group, thereby benefitting both the carpenters and the school!
To thank Born Free and EWCP for their generosity, the school held a fantastic celebration of traditional Oromo dancing, singing and dramatic productions, all dealing with conservation issues and saving the Ethiopian wolf. EWCP will continue to work closely with the school pupils, to foster an appreciation of their natural environment and a desire to make a positive change.