In 1994, the Cheetah Conservation Fund created a guard dog program which provides ranchers with Anatolian shepherds and Kangal dogs which live among the livestock and discourage cheetah presence.
Anatolian shepherds stand 0.76 m (30 in.) tall and weigh up to 68 kg (150 lb.). As a breed they are dedicated to their herds.
Kangal dogs are dedicated to pleasing their masters and protecting their master's property. They stand up to 0.81 m (32 in.) and weigh up to 54 kg (120lb.).
Guard dogs are weaned from their mothers between 7 and 8 weeks and raised with a herd to encourage bonding with the herd. The Guard Dog program is successful in deterring cheetahs due to the cheetah's natural flight vs. fight disposition. The presence and barking from a guard dog is enough to discourage a cheetah.
Other Guardian Animals
Generally docile, donkeys inherently dislike predatory intruders like cheetahs, caracals, and domestic dogs. Donkeys are being increasingly promoted and used as guardian animals on Africa farmlands to deter cheetah livestock attacks, as well as zebras, stallion horses, horned oxen, and mules.
Conservancies and Cheetah Country Beef
Conservancies are groups of neighboring farmers work together to manage wildlife on their lands and allow wildlife to freely roam. Cheetah Country Beef is an eco-label put of beef raised using cheetah-friendly methods. The ranchers agree to non-lethal predator removal and as a result are paid more for the beef they sell because it is cheetah-friendly.
Zoological parks work to educate the general public about cheetah and the problems they are facing in the wild and reasons to protect them.
Breeding in captivity has proven difficult and is currently not sustainable. Wild caught individuals are still required to maintain current captive populations.
The SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund
The SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund supports conservation organizations around the world that work to stop the decline of big cats and identify conservation strategies for their future.
The Dell Cheetah Centre is researching and identifying ways to reintroduce South African cheetahs to the wild.
- The Cheetah Conservation Fund provides field training of cheetah-scat detection dogs to help protect livestock from cheetah predation and educates local youth in Namibia, Africa to learn the importance of cheetahs in their eco-systems and culture.\
- Cheetah Outreach is implementing an educational program created to raise awareness of the threats cheetahs face in the wild.
- Cheetah Conservation Botswana is developing methods for assessing cheetah and wild dog populations in the Kalahari region of Botswana, Africa.
- World Wildlife Fund is working to save the critically endangered Sumatran Tiger.
- Ewaso Lion Project is investigating the factors affecting the population dynamics of lions in and around local reserves in northern Kenya.
- WildiZe Foundation addresses the numerous underlying causes for the lion's decline and involves local communities to reduce conflicts leading to the demise of these animals.
International Cheetah Day
Each December 4th, the Cheetah Conservation Fund and other dedicated individuals and conservation groups participate in global effort to raise cheetah awareness. Visit Cheetah.org to find out more.