Painted Dog Conservation
ARTIS has been supporting the Painted Dog conservancy organisation since 2013. The organisation's mission is to protect the painted dog, also known as the African hunting dog (Lycaon pictus) by means of action, education and research. This is desperately needed, because this unique animal is threatened with extinction. A hundred years ago, 500,000 wild dogs still roamed Africa. Today, the population has dwindled to less than 5,000. Humans are their biggest threat, as they are destroying the wild dog's habitat. Many wild dogs die in traps and traffic each year. All of the financial support from ARTIS goes towards organising multi-day safari camps for children through the Iganyana Children’s Bush Camp Program.
Encourage love and care for nature
Children are the future. Sadly, the majority of local children have never really taken a look at the nature around them. This contrasts sharply with the tourists that travel to Zimbabwe each year to go on safari. When asked to draw a giraffe, the children are not sure what they are supposed to draw. How can they be asked to protect an animal when they do not even know what it looks like? During the Iganyana Children’s Bush Camp Program, children from local schools get to spend four nights at the camp. During their stay, they learn about nature, nature conservation and the painted dog and go on safari. In the process, the children get acquainted with their natural environment and learn to respect it. This approach fits seamlessly with the ARTIS vision to encourage love and care for nature.
Iganyana Children’s Bush Camp Program
The safari camp has proven to be a successful way to encourage love and care for nature, judging by the number of children from the Iganyana Children's Bush Camp Program who go on to join the Painted Dog Conservation organisation's anti-poaching team when they are older. The change in attitude towards the painted dog in turn helps facilitate the required change in human behaviour in order to make it possible to create the desired habitat where these dogs can live and thrive.
Organisation: Painted Dog Conservation
Animal: African hunting dog