Tag archives for Cheetahs
The spotted beauties were pacing back and forth in anticipation of our arrival, actually their yummy lunch, just as we pulled into the Cheetah Conservation Fund. The ravenous cheetahs welcomed us as they devoured their horse and donkey meat.
Their meat is surrounding a big bone to slow them down. In the wild they have to eat extremely fast, if they don’t vultures or jackals will take their kill away from them. The only problem is, if they eat super fast they might choke. The six in front of us had very good manners.
We spent the day wandering the 60,000 hectare property and shared dinner with all of the remarkable staff and volunteers. CCF is an amazing project leading the world in the conservation of cheetahs. The project is home to 46 orphaned cheetahs that will never be able to go back to the wild. They have done extensive research on the cheetah and taken injured cheetahs found on the land of local farmers and released them back into the wild after healing injuries or illnesses.
On our first evening we had the honor of meeting the person behind the entire project, Dr. Laurie Marker. She is such a humble and extraordinary lady. We could have talked for hours. She is known as one of the world’s leading cheetah experts. She came to Namibia in 1977 and found her love for these gorgeous creatures. She learned that they were in serious danger. Instead of waiting for someone else to help she decided to BE that someone. In 1990 she founded what is now the Cheetah Conservation Fund.
She has inspired people all over the world to start projects to save the cheetah and other endangered species. One day I hope to do something as incredible for this world of ours as she has.
Dr. Marker and CCF have done some other things to help make our world a better place. They are now taking an encroaching acacia bush and turning it into a slow burning organic wood logs. This is creating jobs and restoring the cheetah’s habitat.
Our next day we watched three cheetah siblings devour their lunch and were told this incredible story:
There once was a mama to be cheetah wandering around a farmer’s property. He didn’t want the cheetah to harm his livestock so he shot the mama. He then realized the cheetah was pregnant. Luckily the babies were developed enough that when he cut her stomach open he saved three of the four cheetah cubs. The farmer tried to care for them but didn’t really know how so he took them to CCF and they have been there ever since.
At sunset we took a beautiful drive through the CCF game park and the Waterberg Plateau. Kudu, eland, warthogs, springbuck and Oryx were roaming around us as the sky turned orange and purple.
Our final morning Dr. Marker wanted me to hear her babies purr so she let me go in and watch an incredible cheetah run. It was epic! They were so close that I could feel the wind as they ran by. I had the once in a lifetime chance to sit down with them and hear them purr… my heart stopped!
I learned so much the last few days and have a new found love for these creatures. Leaving was SO hard I could have stayed forever, but I know that one day I will return and be reunited with my spotted friends and my new role model, Dr. Marker.