Demonstrations, dancing, desks… and a few pups too!

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 2011 © EWCP

Rabies Day 2011 © EWCP

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.

Marching against rabies in Goba © EWCP

Marching against rabies in Goba © EWCP

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.

A freshly painted fence and acting out a vaccination of a wolf pup © EWCP

A freshly painted fence and acting out a vaccination of a wolf pup © EWCP

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.

Ethiopian wolf pups © Will Burrard Lucas

Ethiopian wolf pups © Will Burrard Lucas

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!

New books for Dinsho School © EWCP

New books for Dinsho School © EWCP

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.

Traditional Oromo dancing © EWCP

Traditional Oromo dancing © EWCP

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3 Comments

  1. Dana
    Posted January 24, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for the uplifting post! It’s great hearing about the school supplies and the fencing around the tree nursey. I love, love the photo of the wolf pups and Mom – lovely colors all around. Question – do you vaccinate the wolves? I pray that all the canines don’t catch this deadly disease!

  2. Brenton
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 1:49 am | Permalink

    Thanks Born Free for your support of the Ethiopian Wolf project and the local comunities in that region.

  3. bornfree
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Thank you for both your comments, it is a fantastic, vital and innovative project. Dana, during previous rabies outbreaks within wolf population areas, the EWCP, with governmental permission has vaccinated Ethiopian wolves with positive results – these vaccinations are not routine however due to the sensitive nature of the population. There is also research being undertaken with regards oral vaccinations of wolves.

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