Books about dogs tell us that “One of the most beautiful of the guardian breeds combining the grace and elegance of the gazehound with the power of the mastiff. Primary function is to bond with and protect livestock. They are independent, self-thinking dogs that have no genetic memory of looking towards man for direction.” Livestock guard dog Marcus at the Zoo is an exemplar of the breed. He guards his flock of two donkeys, two pigs, two horses and his lovely companion Annabelle. Unfortunately, Marcus exhibits all the abilities of the breed, with the additional skill of fence jumping. Recently he was discovered sitting quite calmly on the “other side” of the livestock pasture fence underneath a visitor deck. It became clear that he had been badly injured. Zoo staffers gently moved him to the hospital where he was diagnosed as having torn three of four ligaments. Surgery was successful. During recovery Marcus has been “off exhibit” with Annabelle for companionship.
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