We recently received an update from Peter Blinston, Managing Director of Painted Dog Conservation, Zimbabwe. In it he describes how he and Tracker Jealous Mpofu went on a “World Tour” at the beginning of this year.

“Well not quite a World Tour, of course, but with 11 flights in 24 days it felt like it.  The trip was perhaps more significant than ever before, due to recent changes at PDC and, having Jealous with me presented a rare opportunity for our supporters to meet the man who spends his days on the front line of conservation. Jealous has more than 15 years’ experience, monitoring the various study packs in our core operating area. As a result, no one knows the dogs more than he. Prior to his life with PDC, Jealous spent more than 10 years monitoring rhino for National Parks. It was this life story of his humble beginnings to his current status as a Disney Conservation Hero (2007) and winner of the Van Tienhoven award for Conservation (2012) that captivated our audiences.”

Presentations were given to Aequus in Chicago, Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, Birmingham Zoo in Alabama, Sea World in San Antonio and the Wildlife Conservation Network in San Francisco. Flying on to the UK, Jealous gave a presentation on his life, to more than 300 children at Bishop Gilpin School,  while Peter met up with the Tusk Trust and the David Shepherd Wildlife Fund, supporters of PDC for more than 15 years.

After the UK, the two moved on to Holland to attend the First European Zoo Workshop on Painted Dogs.  The Workshop was organized by PDC Holland to marked its 10th anniversary. There followed a whirlwind of activities as part of the celebration, including a sponsored children’s wild dog run at GaiaZoo  (click on the link to see the children run and to see Peter and Jealous receive a cheque from them)  and of course lots of presentations at local zoos with the aim of updating supporters on the work of PDC and Jealous’ life on the front line.

Painted Wolf Wines was thrilled to be part of a lovely surprise for the PDC. Our donation of 50 cases of wine was used to help raise the funds for a substantial cheque which was handed over to PDC founder, Greg Rasmussen, Jealous and Peter.

Back to the bush:

Back in Zimbabwe the team performed an emergency rescue on a dog who had a snare around his neck. The timely intervention resulted in the dog being darted and treated. Jealous also had the excitement of locating a pack that had not been seen in the area for more than two years. So far this year, Jealous has manage to locate and keep tabs on 6 packs consisting of 42 dogs in total. These 42 dogs make up roughly one third of the dogs in Hwange National Park.

Jealous has worked alone for a number of years and has finally got an assistant. Washinton Moyo from the PDC’s Rehabilitation Facility moved over to join him in their field and will enhance PDC’s monotoring capabilities. Their skills will be put to the test in the coming months as denning season starts and new painted pups are welcomed to the packs.