African wild dog escape in the West Midlands Safari Park and what are they going to do?

African wild dog are some of the most efficient hunters on the planet. Significantly smaller than lion or leopard, often even than cheetah, African wild dogs are astoundingly efficient when they come to hunting, with one of the highest percentage success rates in the animal kingdom. Due to their need for huge reserves, to have a viable population, it is not unusual for them to spread into unprotected land.

12 of the African wild dogs in the West Midlands Safari Park got out of their enclosure. Before they could be caught, they had killed six Persian Fallow deer and 10 Barbary sheep. Their escape was not down to negligence or incompetence, but down to storm Clara.

Wild dogs are small predators compared to Lions or Leopards, but are highly effective. They have a higher success rate than any other savannah top predator. Although in the wild they would run if approached by humans, when escaped from a zoo they will be scared and so their behaviour would be unpredictable

However because of this need for large amounts of space they are seriously endangered. This means that more than many other animals In order to ensure their long-term survival as substantial population of captive wild dogs need to be built up in case they need to be reintroduced to the wild.

It should be noted that despite the damage, the wild dog whenever anywhere they were capable of attacking people. It should also be noted That generally wild dog are not a danger to humans.

Due to their need for large areas of land, there is only thought to be about 1400 wild dog left in the whole of Africa.

Beaver trial reintroduction in the UK has a problem when one of the animals escapes

Reintroducing beavers into the UK would be a very sensible move. As a natural part of our ecosystem the fact that they are no longer there has an impact. Apart from the substantial reduction in flash floods that will occur should beavers be reintroduced across the UK, they also have a huge impact on biodiversity and the general river ecosystem as well as acting as a filter meaning that the water further downstream is substantially cleaner virtually eliminating all farm runoff.

However at the moment all British schemes to do with reintroducing beavers consist of putting the beavers into relatively small enclosures and then watching their impacts and how well they do.

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Nairobi National Park: a wilderness refuge that borders a capital City, what could go wrong?

Nairobi National Park is world-renowned as it is a wildlife Park that is right on the edge of a capital city (4 miles from the city centre). It is Kenya’s first National Park formed in 1946, it is not a large Park covering only around 45 square miles, so it forms part of migrating roots so what time to the year has large populations. Is particularly known for it rhino population, and while it is not a big 5 preserved as there are no elephants it does have cheetah which is rare for reserve so small.

However the issue with having a wild area this close to the city centre is that on occasion the Lions leave the park. When this happened and they come into contact with local residents it is often that the result is sad. A resident living near the park was unfortunately killed by a lion that left. The park is surrounded by an electric fence but this is not not always working and fences the really able to keep in large mammals permanently.

The Lion has killed around 30 dogs and other livestock in the area, and has clearly lost its fear of humans. If it is not possible to move this lion to reserve where it will not come into Direct contact with humans then this lion must be put down- a lion with no fear of humans sees us only as a source of food and will not stop coming back.

I have talked in the past about lion management and the ability to make man eating highly unlikely, all usual methods will fail though with a reserve like this. Reserves like this are important, but we need to find ways for locals to live alongside them safely.

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