This April, Four Seasons was very proud to support the release of the fifth pack of Wild Dogs into the Serengeti National Park. Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA), Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI) and Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) coordinated the release on 17th April 2015, which was attended by over one hundred VIPs, dignitaries, conservation and park staff, wildlife researchers, as well as the guest of honour –  Tanzania’s President, His Excellency Jakaya Kikwete. In support of this important occasion, all catering and refreshments were once again offered by Four Seasons, as our team witnessed this key wildlife event.

Wild dogs bOver the recent decades, wild dogs have undergone a dramatic population crash, more so than any other  carnivore in the Serengeti, due to outbreaks of rabies and what was thought to be the canine distemper virus. Sadly, in 1991, the  species had disappeared from the National Park altogether. However, since 2000, wild dogs have started to reappear across the entire region again, mainly outside of the National Park, in Loliondo to the east, and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, to the south. Today, the Ecosystem is thought to be home to some 200 dogs, mainly living outside the Park, where they come into conflict with people for taking their livestock.

In 2005, a collective effort to secure the conservation status of wild dogs in the Serengeti was initiated, and in 2012 – with help from TAWIRI, TANAPA, Frankfurt Zoological Society and the Office of the President – the ‘Serengeti Wild Dog Conservation Project’ translocated the first of these ‘problem’ wild dog packs from outside the National Park and released them within its boundaries.

The previous four packs that were released into the Park by the Project are reported to be doing very well, and in the past month alone they have been seen by our guests on safari on at least three occasions. With this latest release, we hope there will be many more opportunities for our guests to witness these rare and beautiful creatures in their natural habitat.

More posts from May 2015