Cheetah Conservation Fund Receives Puppy to Represent Livestock Guarding Dog Program in U.S.

Cheetah Conservation Fund
P.O. Box 2496
Alexandria VA.
Cheetah Conservation Fund

For Immediate Release

Cheetah Conservation Fund Receives Puppy to Represent Livestock Guarding Dog Program in U.S.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 9, 2018) – Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), the longest-running project dedicated to cheetah research and conservation, received an unusual donation from longtime supporter Elissa Knights – a 14-week-old male puppy. “Marley” is not just any old dog; he is an Anatolian shepherd, one of the rare breeds favored by CCF’s Livestock Guarding Dog (LGD) Program in Namibia. Marley’s mission, as he grows up, will be to help raise awareness here in the U.S. for CCF’s efforts to promote coexistence with predators and save the cheetah from extinction.

“CCF’s LGDs work with farmers to help protect herds of goats and sheep while grazing on Namibian farmlands. Namibian farmers using CCF LGDs report a significant decline in predation (ranging over 80 percent), and they no longer feel pressured to trap or shoot cheetahs on sight. When herds are healthy and livelihoods are strong, farmers are more likely to accept cheetahs as part of the landscape,” said Dr. Laurie Marker, Founder and Executive Director of CCF.

Dr. Marker is credited with introducing the livestock guarding dog concept to Namibia in 1994. She chose two little-known breeds, the Anatolian shepherd and the Kangal, because of their successful 5,000-year history guarding livestock in Turkey, a country with similar terrain and climate. Both breeds are extra-large with an exceptionally loud bark and fiercely protective nature. Usually their presence is enough to scare off predators.

To date, CCF has bred, trained and placed more than 650 LGDs with farmers throughout Namibia and helped launch similar programs with sister predator programs in Botswana, South Africa and Tanzania.

Marley will spend a few more weeks with Knights, an animal trainer and former manager of the Cincinnati Zoo’s Cat Ambassador Program, then he will go to his new permanent home with CCF staff.

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About Cheetah Conservation Fund

Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) is the global leader in the research and conservation of cheetahs. Founded in Namibia in 1990 by award-winning American zoologist Dr. Laurie Marker, CCF is dedicated to saving the species in the wild. CCF maintains a research program studying the biology, ecology and genetics of the cheetah and operates the only fully-equipped genetics lab at an in-situ conservation site in Africa. CCF has created a set of integrated programmes based on this research that address threats to the cheetah and its entire ecosystem, including human populations. CCF operates from the principal that only by securing the future of the communities that live alongside the cheetah can you secure a future for the species CCF is an international non-profit organization headquartered in Namibia, with operations in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, and partner organizations in several other nations. For more information, please visit


Susan Yannetti, External Relations Manager or 202.716.7756