’twas the month after Christmas, when all through the labs, every creature was stirring, yes even the cats. The parcels were brought to the Centre with care, in hopes that donations soon would be there.
And to our big surprise, we did get lucky!
On the 25th of January, a container full of donated goods arrived at our CCF Research and Conservation Centre in Namibia. And for the first time, it included surprise donations from our genetics laboratory wish list! As all departments, CCFs conservation genetics laboratory has an online wish list, suggesting various items we could make use of to our kind supporters. A laboratory donation list may sound intimidating, but those items are not necessarily highly lab-specific or special; oftentimes they are simply difficult to obtain in Namibia. Especially in recent times, laboratory supplies have been hard to come by, and increasingly expensive. So of course, we were happy when those surprise supplies made it to our lab! Not only did we get the super cool storage boxes in the picture, but also a few boxes of p1000 filter tips for our pipettes, which are fundamental for DNA extraction from various sources like blood or scat. We made all our p1000 tip stock available to Namibian COVID-19 testing efforts back in July, and it has been impossible to obtain new ones from Namibia or South Africa since. So those donated boxes were an amazing gift!
The scat detection dog team at CCF also got lucky! To keep our supply with valuable cheetah scat going, CCF’s scat detection dogs spend a lot of time in the field looking for ‘black gold’ as we call it. Our dogs’ salary is nothing but affection and a great play session after a find, the dogs were very happy to receive some new dog toys! Along with the toys we received some new leashes. Due to our dog’s high level of energy and extensive time in the field we have a lot of wear and tear on those items, so they always feature on our wish list, and we always really appreciate those.
So, while here on the ground, we do not know who the generous donors are, we are sending a big thanks to our donors, who allow us to keep our lab and scat searches running even in those difficult times!