Cheetah Conservation Fund

To be the internationally recognized centre of excellence in the conservation of cheetahs and their ecosystems. CCF will work with all stakeholders to develop best practices in research, education, and land use to benefit all species, including people. CCF works to: create and manage long-term conservation strategies for the cheetah; develop and implement livestock management practices that eliminate the need for ranchers to kill cheetah; conduct education programs for locals; continue research in genetics, biology, species survival
May 11, 2012

Mothering Cheetahs

Ambassodor Cheetahs
Ambassodor Cheetahs

Your Mother's Day Gift Through Global Giving, will help us nurture motherless cubs like the group formerly known as the OK Cubs (‘OK’ stands for Okakarara, where they were originally from).

Peter, Kaijay, Senay and Tiger Lily - cannot really be called cubs anymore. At almost 21 months old, these cheetahs are quickly becoming adults and are really stepping into their role as the Ambassadors of CCF. For those of you who are new to our blog, these four siblings arrived at CCF in 2010, when they were just three weeks old. Because they were so young, it was necessary to bottle-raise them, which led to the unique opportunity of raising cheetahs as ambassadors for their species. These ambassadors are an extremely important education tool for teaching the general public about the cheetah’s biology, conservation and threats. This task varies from meeting the general public on cheetah walks when they visit the CCF centre, to being brought out for farmers and school groups. Seeing cheetahs without a fence in between them and the cat allows people to form a more emotional connection with the animals and therefore sympathise more with their continuing struggle for existence.

 A great deal of time and energy has gone into the training of these four cheetahs in order to ensure that they become successful ambassadors. This training is an ongoing process that involves continued human contact, but they should never be thought of as pets. These cheetahs are, and should always remain, wild animals and should be respected as such.

 As ambassadors, the OK cats meet many influential people. For example, in January of this year, they met British High Commissioner, Marianne Young on her visit to CCF, as well as the Namibian Minister of Environment and the US Ambassador to Namibia. Additionally, another important part of the OK Ambassadors’ job is to meet school groups, both Namibians and internationals. For the kids, meeting a living, breathing cheetah up close can make a much more significant impact, and will hopefully help spark a passion for conservation as these children grow up.

 The OK Ambassadors even help educate people during their lunch hour! In January, they joined the ranks of the other cheetahs at CCF’s centre, which are fed daily for visitors to view. This is an important milestone in their training, as previously they were fed away from the public eye. They started eating with the other centre cats when their diet changed from two meals a day to one per day, like the other adult cheetahs at CCF. Feeding in front of visitors gives CCF the perfect opportunity to teach visitors about the cheetah’s diet, while they witness the cheetahs eating first hand.

 This April, the Ambassadors were anesthetized for their first annual medical work-ups. They had measurements taken, their teeth checked, and blood samples collected, among other things. Tiger Lily had a small growth just above her front right paw that was removed and sent to the lab for identification (more information on this on our 27 April 2012 blog). The procedure went well, and has been healing nicely. Peter and Kaijay were given contraceptive implants, so that as they mature, all four ambassadors can still be kept together. 

 Usually, when the Ambassadors go on walks around the centre, we make a stop at the clinic to weigh them. This has allowed us to consistently measure their growth. Unfortunately, our walk-on scale malfunctioned a couple months back and so we haven’t been able to see how they have been growing since the beginning of the year. However, we took the opportunity to weigh them while they were anesthetized for their annuals earlier this month. Peter was the biggest, weighing in at 41 kg! The ambassadors are unlikely to grow much bigger in height, but will continue to gain weight over the coming months. Peter and Kaijay may reach close to 50 kg, while Senay and Tiger Lily will likely reach their mature weight around 42-45 kg.

 In order to maintain the Ambassadors’ fitness, we try to exercise them on the lure system at least once per week – an activity open to the public. Currently, they are some of our best runners, and continue to impress visitors and staff alike.

 We shall continue to update you on their progress as the very important role of Ambassadors of their species.

Ambassodors Visit School
Ambassodors Visit School

Links:

Mar 5, 2012

Time for Annual Exams

Minja Exam 1
Minja Exam 1

Annual medical examinations are generally performed in April of each year on all of CCF’s cheetahs.  Each donation made to Feed Orphan Cheetahs in Namibia helps CCF to provide not only food, but also medical care for these magnificent animals.

Even though most of the annual exams are performed in April, it is sometimes in the best interest of a Cheetah to schedule an exam outside the usual time frame.  This was the case with our feline friend, Minja.   On the first of March, Minja went to Otjiwarongo to visit the dentist and to have her annual examination.    Minja had been waiting to see the dentist, so her dental appointment was combined with her annual exam.  By combining both exams she only had to be anesthetized once.  Dr. Profitt examined her teeth and took several dental radiographs.  Fortunately she did not need a root canal!  Her annual exam included taking blood samples for overall health evaluation, taking a vaginal cytology to check her stage of the estrus cycle, performing an ultrasound (sonogram) exam of her abdomen to check her kidneys and other organs, removing all ticks, applying Frontline parasite prevention, collecting a fecal sample for gastrointestinal parasite check, giving her annual vaccines against rabies virus and feline distemper, and a general physical exam to evaluate her body and hair coat condition, feel her joints, and check her weight.  Minja checked out just fine, she is a healthy cheetah who now also has clean teeth and a beautiful smile! 

Your contributions allow CCF to provide the best possible care for our resident Cheetahs.  If you would like to learn more about Minja or CCF’s other residents, see the link below:

https://www.cheetah.org/?nd=cheetah_enclosure

Keep up to date with new happenings at CCF.  Subscribe to our Blog!

http://cheetahupdates.blogspot.com/

Thank you for your donation and your support of our resident Cheetahs!  You keep the the Cheetahs smiling!

Minja Exam 2
Minja Exam 2
Mar 5, 2012

Kangal Puppies Growing Strong and Healthy

Kangal 3
Kangal 3

Kiri's litter of eight Kangal puppies born on 31 January is growing fast!

Last week they all started opening their eyes, they took their first steps,
had their first meal of "solid" food, and received their first dose of
de-worming medication. Kiri is a proud mother, and watches on as her puppies
grow and become more independent. The puppies are playful and full of
mischief, and are already starting to have individual personalities. They
will stay at CCF until they are nine weeks old, at which time we will hold
the usual "Puppy Day" to train farmers that have been selected to receive
the puppies to help keep their livestock safe from predators

 

Learn more about CCF’s Livestock Guarding Dog Program and the link below:

https://www.cheetah.org/?nd=donate_detail&donation_id=7

Keep up to date with new happenings at CCF.  Subscribe to our Blog!

http://cheetahupdates.blogspot.com/

Kangal 2
Kangal 2

Links:

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