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:
CCF has worked for two decades to teach farmers to coexist with cheetahs—and those efforts are paying dividends. A while back a livestock farmer became alarmed by the presence of a cheetah we later dubbed Wild Mumand her two cubs near his livestock kraal. Rather than killing them on site, the farmer trapped them and contacted CCF. A medical exam at our vet clinic revealed that Wild Mum had a badly infected broken tooth, which more than likely was why she had resorted to killing livestock insteadof wildlife. We had Wild Mum’s tooth repaired and fitted her with a satellite collar programmed to automatically drop off in five months. Then, Mum and her cubs were released on an unfenced portion of CCF’s property. When we knew the collar had dropped off, we wentto locate the collar. To our surprise, we sighted Wild Mum and found a new litter of three young cubs hidden securely in a bush. Her previous cubs must have struck out on their own, as all eventually do. We hoped to be able to keep track of the cubs, but without their mother’s collar, that would prove difficult. Just recently, though, this feline family was identified in a photo taken by a camera trap. As infant mortality for cheetahs ranges from 75 to 95 percent, the fact that all three young ones are still alive is truly miraculous. As a result of your support, CCF’s efforts ensured five new cheetahs have a chance to blossom in the wild.
Currently, CCF has 52 cheetahs that were either orphaned or injured and came to CCF to be cared for. That number is slightly down from a year or two ago due to CCF's "rewilding" program. We developed a very successful protocol that allows cheetahs that have been in captivity to relearn to hunt and protect themselves in a safe area. Then after they are released into the wild, they are tracked daily to ensure that they can feed themselves. Feeding 52 cheetahs is very expensive. But another expense to consider is fencing! While we don't like to see cheetahs behind fences, sometimes it is necessary. Namibia has a law that requires one hectare (2.5 acres) per cheetah. We keep the majority of "our" cheetahs in enclosures that are much larger than the legal minimum, which means that we have a lot of fencing to install and maintain. (Just imagine what a warthog can do to a fence--it isn't pretty.) Fencing prices have really gone up in the last few years. So we greatly appreciate your donations. While we work on finding ways to return cheetahs to the wild, we make sure that their stay at CCF is as safe as possible. Thank you!
In memory of Chewbaaka, CCF's cheetah ambassador in Namibia for 15 years who passed away in April, CCF is conducting the Chewbaaka Memorial Challenge. All donations up to $300,000 will be matched, dollar for dollar. Chewbaaka was rescued by Dr. Laurie Marker when he was only 10 days old and extremely ill. In the process of saving his life, Dr. Marker and the tiny cub bonded deeply. That bond was evidenced by Dr. Marker and Chewbaaka's trips into the bush, where Mr. C. would climb playtrees and chase lures and always return to Dr. Marker's side afterward. Chewbaaka was an exemplary ambassador for his species, meeting tens of thousands of people over the years at CCF's headquarters in Namibia. His regal bearing and willingness to be the center of attention while he demonstrated the use of playtrees and the amazing speed of a cheetah was so unique--and it left all visitors with a respect for the species. In the 15 years that Chewbaaka presided over CCF's Visitor's Centre, thousands of Namibian livestock and game farmers visited CCF to learn how to protect their livestock from predators. And in the course of their visit they inevitably met Chewbaaka. By getting up close and personal with this exceptional cheetah, many of the farmers left with a newfound respect for the animal--and a commitment to the nonlethal predator control methods learned at CCF. Chewbaaka, orphaned himself by a farmer, probably prevented hundreds if not thousands of cheetah cubs from being orphaned by farmers by making such an impression on everyone he met during his 15 years at CCF. Please donate during our matching challenge before August 31, and your donations will be doubled! Thank you for supporting the Cheetah Conservation Fund.
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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