Thursday, 15 July 2010

An Update From Lionsrock...

It has been many months since we said our goodbyes to Hope, Arandas, Muhawish, Amra and Khawla but we are thrilled when we recieve updates about how they are getting along.

The latest update shows that there have been many changes for our 5 friends, the biggest being the introduction of a new member to their pride - no other than our sweet Saba who joined the pride in June.

Below is the full update we recieved from our dear friend Hildegard Pirker at Lionsrock...

The 5 cubs, which had to be sedated for their relocation in the new enclosure, were darted and given first a thorough examination. As we had seen over the past months since they arrived, Hope and the smallest female Khawla developed sometimes severe limping most likely as a result of malnutrition, which we treated with oral medication. So it was the best opportunity while sedated to treat all of them with a boost of all the vital vitamins and calcium to improve their condition and prevent future problems in their growing development. The sedation was soft and not long after we placed them in their new enclosure, one after the other started waking up. While they were still dizzy and unstable on their feet, we could see that all of them immediately recognized that Saba, who arrived only 2 weeks ago, was now between them. Saba, which was since his arrival had been separated from the group, could now be inspected closely. Saba himself was also keen to finally smell and groom his new friends and kept following everyone excitedly until he made physical contact with each one of them. Hope was a little confused about this attention to the newcomer trying to get between Saba and the younger cubs, when she felt the introduction became to rough. Arandas on the other hand, as the 'biggest' male in the small pride, felt that he had to challenge Saba first, showing him his male qualities, before he decided that Saba was no threat to his pride and could become his friend.

At the end of the day, after exploring their new home, the group settled at their new little house, providing them shelter and safety for the night.

The next morning the group was already waiting keen for us to bring their food. Without any problems they came in the feeding area to have their first meal in the new home. The feeding showed that Saba was fully accepted by the group, as all of them fed peaceful together.

Seeta was all the time close at the fence watching their every move following them up and down the enclosure. Today she seemed to have overcome  her curious excitement and settled calmly on her favorite outlook spot. As I mentioned in my last email, she is really amazing and when we put her meat with the next feeding in the feeding area, she did only hesitate a view seconds before she came in to fetch it  with trustful calmness.
We couldn't be happier with the news that everyone is doing well and that Saba, for the first time in his life, has a family which he may now call his own. As for Seeta...the picture says it all!!

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Stray Animal Control Programme

For years, as in many other countries, the authorities dealt with stray dogs by using poison or shooting them. This, of course, does not solve the problem, all it does is create space for different dogs to take over the area and multiply.

The Stray Animal Control Programme is a long term programme which is designed to reduce the number of stray animals in a humane way. The process involves catching the animals, marking the area where they are from, performing castrations and vaccinating them for rabies whilst also tagging the dogs so they are not re-caught, and then releasing them back to exact area where they were caught. This ensures that no new animals move into the area, ensures that the animals are healthy and reduces the numbers as they can no longer mate.

In Jordan, this all started with Dr. Chinny Krishna of the Blue Cross of India. India was responsible for 55% of human rabies across the world. Once the programme was started in 4 cities in India, the incidence of rabies over 5 years was reduced to 0 and the number of stray dogs declined. Dr. Krishna visited Jordan in 2009 and met with a number of officials who all agreed that this seemed to be the best way to go.

In May of 2010, a team from Vier-Pfoten (Romania) came to Jordan to initiate the programme. The team spent ten days in Jordan where they started the programme and trained the Jordanian teams. There are two centres for the programme, New Hope serving Amman and the Jordan University of Science and Technology serving the North. The operations are under full swing and within one month of the programme starting the number of dogs who had been operated on had reached just over 200. This may not seem such a large number in view of the overall problem, however with the small number of vets who are able to perform the operations we are very pleased with the overall numbers. The vets are getting more confident each day and the operations are moving faster.

We are also very fortunate that international vets are volunteering their time to come to Jordan to assist in the programme. This enables out vets to continue their training and gain new methods of operating as well as having extra pairs of hands to help! We look forward to even more volunteers!

Jordan is the very first country in the region to adopt this programme at a National level and we are very grateful to all who are working so diligently to make this a success.

To our international and local partners for helping to get this programme up and running and to all those who have volunteered - thank you!