A delegation representing the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) visited Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) on Nov. 19 to present us with keys and title to a new 4×4 truck. The vehicle was donated to CCF for use with our Livestock Guarding Dog Program, which features two rare breeds of Turkish dogs.
The visitors included H.E. Mrs. Deniz Cakar, Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey; Mrs. Keman Ozdemir, Head of TIKA Africa and Middle East Countries; Mr. Cüneyt Esmer, TIKA Namibia Country Director; and members of the Turkish media. After having lunch with CCF staff, we treated them to a demonstration of the Livestock Guarding Dog Program and a tour of our Field Research and Education Centre and Cheetah Sanctuary.
Since 1994, we have bred, trained and placed Kangal dogs and Anatolian shepherds with farmers to guard small stock on farmlands. The dogs serve as a buffer between farm animals and predators like the cheetah. I selected these two breeds because of their history of success guarding livestock in Turkey, a country with a terrain and climate similar to Namibia, and for their large size, loud bark, independent and protective nature.
TIKA was established in 1992 to serve as an implementing intermediary of Turkish foreign policy. The agency supports projects on five continents in 120 countries. Mr. Cüneyt Esmer, TIKA Namibia Country Director, (photographed above giving me the keys) said that his agency provides assistance wherever in the world it is needed, but is especially pleased to support efforts that feature aspects of Turkish culture.
We are very excited to be recognized by TIKA and grateful to receive this new truck. Between delivering puppies to farmers, conducting health check-ups and administering veterinary care, our staff is on the road daily. This will help us better keep up with the demand for our dogs and their ongoing care.