Over the last couple of years, we have been working with Cheetah Outreach to help protect the livestock of local farming communities from predators in the local area; notably, the Cape Leopard. Important in the programme, however, is the protection of livestock in a manner that is both responsible and sustainable, and simultaneously seeks to protect the lives of Cape Leopards (an already endangered species).

How does the Cheetah Outreach Programme work?

As the local population grew in the Cederberg region, so too did the number of attacks on local livestock by predators such as the Cape Leopard. The threat that this posed to local farmers and their livelihood was initially combatted by shooting the predators, a consequence that was detrimental to the population of Cape Leopards and other affected predators. Through the Cheetah Outreach Programme, however, this has been combatted through the placement of guardian dogs on local farms who act as both a deterrent to predators, and as a result, a protective blanket for their lives.

The success of Cheetah Outreach’s initiative stems from the sheep dogs’ protective instincts, keen eyesight, speed, and agility, all of which makes them the ideal guardian for flocks and herds in the Cederberg area. Our sustainable focus at Bushmans Kloof – streamlined through our involvement in the TreadRight Foundation’s Make Travel Matter campaign – moved us to sponsor the adoption and placement of more Anatolian sheep dogs at other farms in the region. By doing so, we continue to help protect the ecosystem in which we sit and contribute to the creation of safe corridors for predators like the Cape Leopard. The latest progress report developed by Cheetah Outreach demonstrates the success of our sponsorship on the programme thus far.

Our progress

Second Placement, May 2018

Irwin’s Guardian, Gabriel
In the time that Gabriel has guarded his owner's herd there hasn't been any losses in livestock to predation, resulting in repeated praise from his owner. His owner's enthusiasm for Gabriel's successful progress has made him a great spokesperson for the project and it's impact.

Irwin’s Guardian, Rocky
Rocky has come to be known as a star guardian. Similarly to Gabriel, he has had no losses of his herd and has successfully deterred the movement of a leopard that moves about the farm. His owner is very proud of him, and Rocky has changed his view on successful sheep farming in an area with predators present on the farm.

Third Placement, August 2019

Irwin’s Guardian, Ajay
Ajay has become warmly favoured by his owner, Joubert, as a hardworking, attentive, and protective guardian. Joubert hasn’t suffered a single loss of his herd since Ajay joined three years ago. This has been a great financial benefit for his owner whose passion and gratitude towards Ajay manifests in his praise and admiration for him. Ajay is also testing out a GPS collar that tracks him 24 hours a day, an initiative that is giving us insightful information on his movements and how he interacts with the herd.

Irwin’s Guardian, Daisy
Daisy’s activity on her farm has been fruitful thus far. Whilst she has a tendency to chase springbok, her owner and the herdsman keeps her under constant supervision. Despite the additional training required, her owner is very proud of her and the safety and support that she has brought to the farm. Daisy has come to be renowned as a true asset to the farm.

Irwin’s Guardian, Lady
Lady has proved one of our shyer guardians on the programme and remains weary of strangers and those whom she is not familiar with. Despite her timid nature, she has had no losses at her herd and her owner is incredibly proud of her. Daisy’s ability to work independently and far from supervision has also sparked praise and admiration. Whilst shy, she is reliable and fruitful in her endeavours as a guardian.

Irwin’s Guardian, Max
Max has been described as the pride of his manager. He has been working very hard and has
successfully defended his herd against stray dogs that once proved a frequent threat to his owner’s sheep. During one attack, there wasn’t a single loss or injured sheep which made the entire farm management team very happy. His manager is extremely proud of his work.

Fourth placement, June 2020

Thandi has become a fierce young guardian and does not let anything or anybody strange close to her herd. She has developed a reputation among the neighbours as a stubborn and hardworking, protective guardian. Her owner is very happy with her progress, particularly her ability to guard her herd close to the road which can make stock vulnerable to theft.

Jambo is doing a great job on the farm. He is a great protector and his owner is incredibly proud of his endeavours. His owner has on many occasions said he cannot farm without Jambo there to protect and guard his herd. Jambo is clearly having a great impact.

Bheka has proven himself to be a great young guardian whose loyalty to protecting the local livestock extends beyond his owner alone – he has also been found guarding a herd of sheep on a neighbouring farm. When tracked, a leopard’s tracks were also found leading straight towards the herd that Bheka was guarding. Evidently, Bheka is not only doing a wonderful job for his owner, but in working to keep the neighbours’ sheep safe also.

Obi and his owner are dealing with some challenges at the moment. The area he should be working in is close to town and suffered vandalisation from local people tearing down fences and destroying the watering points. This has forced his owner to bring him back to the kraal to stay until they can move him into a more remote area.

Fifth placement, December 2021


With the help of some recent corrective training, Keno is again working very well in the veldt. He never leaves his post amongst the herd and is vigilant in his protective endeavours. He also does not tolerate strangers amongst the sheep, a commitment profoundly demonstrated when Rooibos tea inspectors dared to enter the area in which his sheep were residing. Keno clearly marked their lack of welcome on the premises. He is still being monitored and will continue with the training for at least the next three months. His owner is happy to invest this time into Keno and will reap the rewards of doing so in the future.


Zack has formed a great bond with his herd and remains with them as they graze. Through his loyal protection, he has proven himself to be a very trustworthy, attentive, and protective young guardian. We are now working on improving his trust in other humans. He will be moved back to his original pasture with his herd shortly where his owner will continue building a bond with him. 


Titan is doing an amazing job! He has been working on a remote part of the property and has had no losses with his herd even when leopard tracks were found in the area. He did, however, have a run-in with some baboons but he survived this encounter with only a few scratches. His owner is monitoring the situation to ensure that he is safe.


Venus is doing very well; she has adapted in the veldt and can always be found close to her herd. Her owner is very happy with her progress and commitment to protecting the livestock. She is developing into a very trustworthy and attentive young guardian.

Sixth placement, July 2022

Cali is doing very well. She has adapted to her new surroundings after a rocky start and her new family are settling into life with her. Her herd size has recently increased too and Cali has taken this change in her stride. Her owner is happy with her progress and excited about her future with them.

Bailey has settled in well with her new family. Her owner adores her and she has formed a strong bond with the herd. This has brought a sigh of relief to her owner due to an active leopard on the farm. She is being monitored to ensure her safety as she is a young dog, and her owner takes her well-being very seriously. Bailey is the belle of the ball.

Shelby is a very inquisitive young dog. She has already formed a good bond with her herd
and they accept her as part of them. The bonding is made easier thanks to the herd’s previous exposure to the presence of dogs with earlier placements. Her owner is very happy with her progress and he continuously monitors her to ensure that she does not develop any unwanted behaviours.

Baxter is doing great and has recovered very well from a recent surgery. As is the case with Shelby, his bonding process with the herd was helped by Quinn’s previous placement on the farm. This makes them calm and unafraid of Baxter’s presence. His owner is monitoring him closely to ensure his recovery and well-being remain positive.

Sierra has settled in well with the herd. Whilst he struggled the first few days to adapt, his
owner persisted and eventually succeeded in helping him to settle. He now has a good bond with his training herd and they accept him as he moves amongst them.