On the 26th July 2019, we had to say goodbye to one of our treasured livestock guarding dogs, Karibib.
About a week earlier, the dog team had noticed a change in Karibib’s personality and demeanour, which alerted us to a potential health issue. CCF’s veterinary team worked around the clock to try and identify the cause but sadly her health rapidly declined and, unfortunately, a decision was made to put her to rest. She was surrounded by a handful of staff members that loved her and were close to her.
Karibib was born in Germany and brought to Namibia by a farmer from the Karibib region (where she got her name). She was given to CCF in 2014 by the farmer in Karibib. She had been working on his farm but one day disappeared, or ran away. A year later she was found in the town of Karibib, looking like she had been a street dog for the past year. It looked like she had puppies, but they were not found after an extensive search. As she had been away from the farm, and not working with livestock for the past year, the farmer decided to donate her to CCF as a breeding dog. Karibib was one of our toughest dogs, considering her past endeavours, out in the bush alone, with many battle scars.
As part of our breeding program, Karibib produced 31 puppies, all which went on to become livestock guarding dogs in Namibia, as well as in Tanzania as part of the Ruaha Carnivore Project.
As Karibib settled in at CCF, her gentle nature and calm demeanour came forward. She loved attention and we found that she was very fond of children. Because of this, we began to use her as one of our educational ambassadors. She often travelled to schools around the country with CCF’s Educators, teaching learners about CCF’s Livestock Guarding Dog Programme and addressing common misconceptions about predators and teaching them about the role of a predator in the ecosystem. Karibib also acted as an on-site ambassador for visiting school groups, helping change kids’ perceptions and fears about large breed dogs and turning them into dog lovers. Karibib was our shining spokesdog, as she would walk right up to people and ‘ask’ to be pets or she would just decide to lie down at ones feet just waiting for cuddles!
Some people were afraid of Karibib, while others were excited to pet her, and many asked insightful questions about dogs and wildlife that excited me to not only be a conservationist and dog rescuer, but an educator as well. It’s amazing how much people of all ages and backgrounds are unaware of a predator’s impact on a system and how many elegant and non-lethal ways there are to preserve them. – Ali Azevedo, former LSGD intern at CCF.
Thank you, Karibib, for giving CCF so many years of your life, and for being the best representative of a gentle giant. You were an amazing ambassador for our Livestock Guarding Dog Programme. We will always remember you. Rest in peace.