Bloem Border Collie is SA's first doggie graduate

2016-05-19 11:38
Esté Matthew and Jessie. (Photos supplied)

Esté Matthew and Jessie. (Photos supplied)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - A sheepdog from a farm in Bloemfontein is the first dog in the country ever to be awarded a degree.

Esté Matthew and her Border Collie Jessie both graduated with a Masters in Zoology from North-West University this month for their thesis: "The use of a sniffer dog for amphibian conservation ecology".

When she was 6-months-old, Jessie was trained to detect the scent of frogs below ground and to distinguish between giant African bullfrogs and other frogs. The giant African bullfrog is a protected species in Gauteng as its habitat is gradually shrinking due to urbanisation.

Matthew says Jessie was trained in a scientific and reliable manner, with the assistance of her supervisor, Professor Ché Weldon. The same test was repeated up to 45 times to ensure a reliable result, she says.

Conducting research on the frogs is no easy task as they usually hibernate for about 11 months out of the year, only coming up to the surface during November and December to breed and lay eggs.

This made gathering research throughout the rest of the year more difficult, Matthew says.

And that is where Jessie, whose parents work as sheep-herding dogs on a farm in Bloemfontein, came in. She sniffed out her first wild bullfrog above ground in December 2014. Six months later she found one below ground.

Matthew, who now works at the Endangered Wildlife Trust, says Jessie will continue to use her nose and degree to help endangered amphibians with the trust.

Read more on:    mahikeng  |  animals  |  good news

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
ADVERTORIAL
Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.