A True Cheetah Friend…
Congratulations to CCF’s European Goodwill Ambassador Anna Vieth! She took home the silver medal for Austria in the Olympic super-G on February 17th, 2018. In October 2014, Anna donated her famous cheetah print helmet together with a cash gift to CCF in Namibia to help rebuild its Visitor Center, which was destroyed by a fire in 2013. Anna wore the custom-made race helmet during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, where she won a gold medal in the super-G and a silver medal in the giant slalom. For more on Anna’s support of CCF and the cheetahs, read the story below.
Story from 2014
Cheetah Conservation Fund was so proud to watch as its European Ambassador, Austrian alpine skier Anna Fenninger, took gold in the the Women’s Super G and silver in the women’s Giant Slalom events during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Wearing her cheetah print helmet for her races, Anna used her moment of olympic glory to garner attention to the world’s fastest land animal and its race against extinction. We like to think that wearing a cheetah helmet gave Anna “cheetah speed!” That was certainly our wish for her as we cheered her on in Sochi from Otjiwarongo, Namibia.
Anna has been a friend to the cheetah and a friend to CCF for quite some time. With a life-long devotion to big cats and especially the cheetah, Anna came to visit CCF in Namibia to learn more about the cheetah in the wild and to shoot a calendar. The large-format 2014 calendar, released at the end of 2013, features Anna around CCF’s ambassador cheetahs in gorgeous, sweeping images.
During her time in Namibia, she learned how CCF is reducing human-wildlife conflict that threatens the cheetah by breeding and placing Anatolian shepherd and Kangal dogs with Namibian farmers. The dogs bond to the herds and protect them, scaring off predators with their imposing presence and ferocious bark. She met our resident cheetahs, most of whom are at CCF because they were orphaned as cubs — their mothers often shot or trapped.
Since visiting Namibia and getting to know CCF and Dr. Laurie Marker’s work, Anna has been a tireless advocate for the cheetah. At nearly every opportunity, Anna has cast a spotlight on the cheetah’s race against extinction. During appearances on Austrian television, and even during the interview following her post-gold medal winning run, Anna has constantly sought to draw attention to the cheetah and the work that CCF is doing to save it. We at CCF have so appreciated her dedication to our mission. Her efforts have paid off, drawing many new supporters and fans of our work.
Now it’s Your Turn to Help Win the Race
In the wake of the excitement after the Sochi Games, Anna agreed to be our spokesperson for our spring fundraising efforts, offering a letter to our cheetah friends and family:
When I was told in October of last year that CCF’s Visitors Centre had burned to the ground, I was devastated. Those of us who have had the privilege to see Dr. Marker’s work first-hand know what an important role the Visitors Centre plays – it is the entry point for the general public into the world of the cheetah. You see, CCF’s facility in Namibia is not only a world-class research and conservation facility, it is also a destination for the general public to learn about the cheetah, and CCF needs our help more than ever this year as they undertake the task of rebuilding from the fire of 2013….I know that as a member of the CCF family, you too, are doing what you can to ensure the cheetah survives for future generations. I’m proud to have you on our team, helping to win the race against extinction. And I hope that you will give the team at CCF the support they need to keep running, by making a generous contribution today.