Saving Ethiopian wolves

The Born Free Foundation, in partnership with the Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme, is working tirelesly to save the Ethiopian wolves

EthiopianWolfA few weeks ago one of the Born Free Foundation’s greatest fears was realised. A dead Ethiopian wolf was found and tested positive for rabies. Since then another six wolves have been found dead. They died in excruciating pain, ravaged by the deadly virus.

The wolves’ last stronghold in the world is high in Ethiopia’s Bale Mountains. Here, 3000m above sea level in the Afro-alpine highlands, they live in large family packs, each led by an alpha male and female with intricate social structures. They prey on grass rats and mole rats in the grassland areas.

Sadly the wolves are particularly susceptible to rabies. It is passed on to them by domestic dogs belonging to the Oromo people, who graze their livestock in the mountains. Farmers are moving closer and closer to wolf habitat, bringing with them the dogs that can pass on the lethal rabies virus to their wild cousins. If unchecked this rabies outbreak could wipe out the last remaining wolves.

Saving the wolves
Led by Born Free’s Head of Conservation Professor Claudio Sillero, a team is currently hard at work in Ethiopia doing everything it can to save the wolves. The Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme was started by Claudio with Born Free back in 1995. The programme has worked tirelessly for nearly 20 years since to secure a future for this national treasure.

The team is working to vaccinate the healthy wolves to prevent further infection. They are determined not to let the rabies outbreak become an epidemic. Working with the Ethiopian wildlife authorities, they have set up an emergency response team. But it is not an easy task. They are battling stormy conditions and torrential downpours to carefully capture the wolves, vaccinate them with life-saving vaccines and then release them back to the wild. It is exhausting, desperate work. But the wolves rely on Born Free for their survival. The charity can’t let them down.

Please help KQ and the Born Free Foundation to safeguard Africa’s wildlife by placing any loose or unwanted change in the envelopes provided and handing to a member of the cabin crew. The money received will make a huge difference and help us in our fight to ensure a future for Africa’s iconic wildlife. Thank you! • More info  www.bornfree.org.uk/about-us/born-free-kenya/