Assistant Cheetah Keeper & Research Assistant
(2011 – present) Ryan was born and raised in Warren, Michigan (USA) where he discovered a passion for animals. He attended Michigan State University where he studied for a BSc in Zoology. While there, he took the opportunity to study abroad in Uganda, learning all about the country’s primates and birds. It was during this time he found out about the Cheetah Conservation Fund. Upon graduating in the summer of 2010, he interned at CCF, initially working on the annual Windhoek fundraising gala and later training in cheetah husbandry. During his final three months as an intern at CCF, he took part in the reintroduction of a coalition of four female cheetahs (Chanel and the Chocolate sisters) in our 4,000-ha game camp.
Ryan returned to CCF in late October 2011 as a staff member to take on more cheetah release work. He monitors the released cats daily, tracking their movements and observing their transitions from captive to wild cheetahs. He records constant behavioural observations and assesses their overall health of the cats throughout the release. He also helps to repair and maintain the game fences and conducts daily checks of the swing gates.