In 1996, a group of schoolboys set off on a 1,000km run across Zimbabwe to raise funds for the conservation of African Wild Dogs – a species facing the very real threat of extinction.
The boys completed the run, generated significant interest in an animal not commonly known to be endangered and raised a staggering $47,000 to support conservation efforts.
Those boys are now men. And in December 2016, they will reunite to celebrate the 20 year anniversary of the event by completing another run. The intent will be the same – to do something meaningful to protect one of Africa’s most iconic animals. A forgotten species. A species that doesn’t generate the same attention as rhinos or elephants, yet is equally as important.
Engaging the next generation is a critical part of the project so it won’t just be the original guys doing the 2016 run. Thirty students from the Peterhouse Group of Schools will also take part – becoming a vital link from the past to the future as the responsibility of doing everything possible to avoid Wild Dogs being wiped out forever is shared.
The African Wild Dog (Lycaon Pictus), also known as the African Painted Dog or African Hunting Dog, is classed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Their decline is rapid and ongoing and they have been almost completely wiped out in Northern and Central Africa. Southern African is the last hope for these incredible animals. However there are less than 7000 African Wild Dogs left . . . and time is ticking.
SUPPORT THE CAUSE
Running for Wild Dogs is all about raising awareness and vital funds for the conservation of African Wild Dogs. Our vision is to save this unique animal from extinction. We have partnered with two organisations at the frontline of conservation efforts – Painted Dog Conversation and African Wildlife Conservation Fund. The majority of funds raised from Running for Wild Dogs will be donated to these two organisations to support their important work, which includes:
Providing direct protection for the Wild Dogs while also protecting their habitat and the species with which they coexist.
Caring for injured or orphaned Wild Dogs or relocating entire packs from problem areas.
Engaging local communities in a host of ways to educate both the young and old about Wild Dogs. Activities include children’s bush camps, school libraries, tree planting, clean up campaigns and more.
Assistance with community support, such as conducting HIV/AIDS testing at local hospitals and providing clean and reliable water sources, is one of the most effective ways to foster goodwill towards Wild Dogs.
Wild Dog warriors
Every day, an army of dedicated workers, volunteers and educators set out across Zimbabwe to do everything they can to protect the Wild Dogs. Without them, and funds to support their efforts, the cause would be lost.
The effort to conserve the Wild Dogs is as complex as it is far-reaching. The work being carried out to protect them has another important and lasting benefit by providing opportunities to benefit the human communities they coexist with – including education, employment, health care and more.
Any donation – no matter how small – will help to make a real difference.
The route will take participants some 1,000km across Zimbabwe from east to west, with each person running the equivalent of a half marathon every day for seven days. The run will finish at the world famous Victoria Falls.
Our two partner organisations are located along the route, meaning runners will pass the very places where real conservation efforts take place every day!
Become a Wild Dog Warrior and help Wild Dogs and people!