Sunday, June 03, 2007

African idea keeping livestock safe from Fla. panther

NBC2 News
Last updated on: 6/2/2007 5:47:20 PM

GOLDEN GATE ESTATES: An idea from Africa is being used in Southwest Florida to protect homeowners' pets and livestock.

Volunteers from local, state and federal agencies are working with the Defenders of Wildlife organization to keep all wildlife safe.

They joined in Golden Gate Estates to erect the same kind of pen used by African farmers to keep lions away from their herds.

"We had one of our dogs killed last year and it wasn't really established what kind of animal it was, but it was a wild animal and he was a big dog, so it was a big animal," said Rebecca Galligan, one of the recipients of the pens.

Galligan says her dog wasn't the only animal attacked in the area.

A few houses away, Al Sanchez and his partner live on five-acres, where they raises a variety of livestock and have felt the effects of predatory animals.

"We've had panthers, we have bears that we see occasionally, a lot of bobcats that come through and then of course the dogs that roam," Sanchez said.

About two years ago, Sanchez says 15 of his goats were killed by wild animals - and it hit home for a man who isn't just raising livestock.

"The goats, they all are named. Yes they are animals, but I look at them, they're part of me, part of this family here, just to lose one it hurts it's like losing a family member," Sanchez said.

To learn about building livestock pens, head here: articleid=12865&z=3&p=

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