The Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) was co-founded by Dr. Laurie Marker, who continues to be its Executive Director. The CCF has a number of programs they have developed throughout the years, to help protect, preserve and increase the population of cheetahs in Africa. In the 1980's, Namibia was hit hard by drought. The cheetah's natural prey base died or was killed by farmers and ranchers to reduce grazing and watering pressures on their livestock. With little natural prey to hunt, some cheetahs were forced to take livestock. Many ranchers consider the cheetah to be a major threat to their livestock. In Namibia, cheetahs are a protected species, but when cheetahs come into conflict with humans and their livestock, ranchers are allowed to "remove" the cheetah. Trapping and shooting cheetahs that are suspected of being a threat to livestock is permitted. Sometimes, cheetahs are just passing through, but are immediately labeled as a "problem animal". CCF's goal is to help livestock ranchers find ways to co-exist with cheetahs. In 1994, the CCF developed a breeding program for Livestock Guard Dogs (specifically, Anatolian Shepherd Dogs) where Namibian goat and sheep ranchers are given ASD's to protect their flocks, thereby vicariously, protecting the cheetahs from being killed by the ranchers. At the present time, about 30 dogs a year are introduced into regional ranches, free of charge. Kathy Gerlach was contacted by the CCF, inquiring about frozen semen for the CCF's four brood-bitches, as the current CCF stud dog had become ill. Since Kathy has a limited number of Beau's semen units frozen, she referred the CCF to us. We are proud to announce that the CCF has chosen CH Gerlach Zorlu Veli (Zor) from the Rare Breeds Ranch to be the sire of the next generation of CCF Anatolians. Eight units of frozen semen were shipped to the Center for Species Survival at the Smithsonian Conservation and Research Center in Virginia. From there, the units were flown to the CCF compound in Otjiwarongo, Namibia. Even more exciting is that, according to Anne Schmidt-Kuntzel, DVM, PhD, Director of the Applied Biosystems Genetic Conservation Lab at the CCF, the Republic of Namibia had never before been asked to allow the import of frozen canine semen into Namibia. Through the hard work of our local vet, the Internation Canine Semen Bank, the CCF, and the cooperation of Dr. A Musilika-Shilongo, Chief Veterinarian for the Namibian Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, the CFF was granted Namibian Import Permit #1, for frozen canine semen! In fact, the paperwork for the permit wasn't finalized until March 30th, the day the units arrived in Namibia. We are excited to be part of this outstanding program and are confident that some excellent ASD's will be produced for the CCF.

Research to save cheetahs.