August 19th, 2020. Wild Hearts African Farm in Lewisburg, recently welcomed three black-backed jackals from the Columbus Zoo. Black backed jackals are small members of the canine family and resemble a fox. The three adult brothers range in size from 12-15lbs, and are long-legged and very slender. They are omnivorous and like to eat small rodents, birds, fruits, insects, reptiles and any small animals they come across. The Columbus Zoo keepers were Harry Potter fans and named the boys Sirius, Padfoot, and Lupin and Wild Hearts plans to keep those names. The brothers are a little over 5-years-old and will be housed in the Petting Zoo so visitors will get the opportunity to see them on a guided tour in the coming weeks.
Amanda Badger, founder of Wild Hearts African Farm, says the boys are actually very friendly and greet them with tail wags and want their bellies rubbed. Sirius really enjoys head scratches and Lupin took to her right away and even ate out of her hand. They have a particular soft spot for our veterinarian, Dr. Chelsea Staab. They know several commands like “sit” and “paw”. They are very cooperative and allow Dr. Staab to give them their monthly heartworm, flea and tick medication very easily.
Over the last few weeks the jackals have been settling in to their new home with ease. “We are excited to have the boys here and equally excited that despite their small size, they are actually now the “top-dogs” on campus. Here at Wild Hearts, they will be the largest predator other than our farm dog, Peanut. The jackals will help Wild Hearts African Farm’s mission to tell the conservation story of farmers coexisting with wildlife in Africa” says Badger. Wild Hearts is planning some fun fall farm tours and the jackals will be fun to include in the Halloween theme.
Jackals play a very important role in the savanna ecosystem. While they can be amazing hunters (especially when working together), jackals are also active scavengers. This serves a really important ecological role—they help clean up everything left behind and keep diseases under control! Unfortunately, jackals are often seen as pests to African farmers because of their small stature and cunning ability to take small prey, including small livestock. While jackals are heavily persecuted, research shows they are also important in keeping many crop pests under control. Many conservation organizations work with local communities to help find wildlife management techniques that allows humans to coexist with native wildlife. Predators play a crucial role in African Farms because they help keep the populations down of other nuisance wildlife.
Welcome Sirius, Padfoot & Lupin!
Wild Hearts African Farm is proud to be the first Humane Certified™ zoo and farm in Ohio!
Book at Tour: www.WildHeartsAfricanFarm.org