On April 3, Chewbaaka, CCF's ambassador cheetah, died peacefully in his sleep, a month after sustaining injuries while tussling with a kudu that had leaped into his enclosure. Chewbaaka was almost 16 years old, which is extremely old for a cheetah. Chewbaaka arrived at CCF when he was less than two weeks old. His siblings had been killed by a farmer's dog, and Chewbaaka was too ill to be released with his mother. Near death, he required round-the-clock nursing by Dr. Marker until he had recovered. The two developed a unique bond that lasted the rest of Chewbaaka's life. Marker often took him out into the bush, with no leash or fences to keep him from leaving, yet he never left her side. He had a regal bearing that everyone who met him commented on. He greeted everyone who visited CCF--from children from nearby schools to celebrities and government officials from all over the world. He demonstrated the use of play trees and the cheetah's unbelievable speed and maneuverability as he chased his lure. He taught people from all corners of the world that cheetahs were not to be feared or hated, but revered. He was one of a kind, and the entire staff of CCF is devastated by his death. RIP dear Chewbaaka.
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