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Amani, meaning Peace in Swahili, was caught by a farmer in the Khomas Hochland area (east of Windhoek) when she was about one year old. We do not know what happened to the rest of her family as she was too young to be on her own at that stage. The farmer gave her to Amani Lodge near Windhoek where she was kept as a companion for their tame cheetah. However, the two cats never got along and after a year they decided it would be better for her to go to CCF. CCF fetched Amani in June 2006. Amani is a true testament to the survival of the cheetahs. She was slow to grow accustomed to a new way of life at CCF, but once she found her niche, there was no stopping this feisty cat.
Aurora was brought to CCF as a cub only several weeks old in April 2013. A farmer found Aurora without any sign of her mother and kept her for 2 weeks before calling CCF. When she arrived at CCF her claws had been cut, she was malnourished, and was extremely frightened. Since being at CCF she has been introduced to another female cub, Rainbow, who arrived at CCF around the same time. The two have become companions and now share an enclosure.
B2 was rescued in September 2014. He was 5 months old when he was picked up near CCF Headquarters. He was caught in a cage trap on a neighboring farm and he was in good condition. When we picked B2 up he just eaten so we assume that he was with his mother at the time of capture. However, after searching for 3 days straight we were unable to find her and therefore had to bring him in to CCF as he wouldn’t have survived on his on. B2 has since been introduced to Phoenix and they have formed a very strong bond. B2 was named for B2Gold an international mining company that is currently working in Otjikoto, 300 km north of Namibia’s capital city of Windhoek between the towns of Otjiwarongo and Otavi.
Bella was rescued by a cheetah friendly farmer near Okahandja who had found the six month old cub living in a small chicken coup on a neighboring farm. The caring farmer took Bella to the vet for initial vaccinations and then called CCF. CCF staff collected her in January 2009 and found her in excellent condition inside a dog pen, but persuading her to enter a cheetah transport box proved quite tricky. Eventually, a member of staff entered the pen armed with a towel which was placed over Bella’s head. Then the staff member held Bella by the scruff of her neck and safely placed her into a transport box. The fate of Bella’s mother is unknown, but being separated from her at such a young age means that Bella will not be released into the wild. She was not able to learn essential survival skills from her mother. Bella means “Beautiful” in Italian and this couldn’t be a more appropriate name.
Blondi and her sister Dusty were born in May 2000, they arrived at CCF in August 2000, when they were just three months old. They lost their mother and were all alone. Dr. Ulf Tubbesing, a Windhoek veterinarian, brought them to their new home at CCF. Female cheetahs teach their young vital survival skills, including hunting. Without their mother they lack these survival skills and are unable to live as wild cheetahs.
Harry came to CCF in September 2005 from south Otjiwarongo with HER two siblings, Ron and Hermione. CCF was called by a farmer who had hand-captured two cubs with a third still out in the bush by herself. They were easily caught, due to their young age and weak condition. It appeared they had lost their mother. Sadly, her fate remains unknown. The third cub was caught a week later. Harry is named after J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter character, because when she arrived she had a small lightning-bolt-shaped scratch under her right eye. She is very shy around people and will wait until her siblings, Ron and Hermione, approach new people first.
Hermione came to CCF in September 2005 from south Otjiwarongo with her two siblings, Ron and Harry. CCF was called by a farmer who had hand-captured two cubs. The third was still out in the bush. It appeared that they had lost our mother. Sadly, her fate remains unknown. The third cub was caught a week later. Hermione is named after one of the characters in the popular books by J.K. Rowling and is the smallest and darkest of the three siblings – also the most playful. She has a small teddy bear face and big dark eyes. She is very gentle by nature, but not as much as her brother Ron. She tends to follow Ron’s lead during feeding. Hermione is the most social and will chase her brother and sister around the pen even though she is much smaller.
Kayla arrived at CCF in April 2007 with her half-sister Kiana when they were around 2 years old. They live inside CCF’s 64 hectare pen known as Bellebeno. Although they share their enclosure with several other cheetahs, Kayla and Kiana really stick together. Before arriving at CCF Kayla and Kiana were kept in less than ideal conditions and were not fed a proper diet, resulting in them being much smaller than other cheetahs of the same age. At some point during her time before coming to CCF, Kayla injured her tail resulting in a pinched nerve at its base. Her tail does not function properly and dangles when she runs. Despite her small size and damaged tail, Kayla is a very enthusiastic runner and is always one of the first to arrive at feeding time.
Khayjay is one of the four Okakarara Cubs, which were brought to CCF when they were only a few weeks old in 2010. Khayjay and his brother Peter and his sisters Senay and Tiger Lily live together at the CCF Center and are being specially trained to be Ambassador Cheetahs. They will meet visiting school groups, distinguished guests, farmers, and other people from all over Namibia, and will teach everyone they encounter about the cheetah and its race against extinction. Khayjay is one of the most enthusiastic runners among the OK Ambassadors, and enjoys the special treat of a bloodcicle – a frozen treat containing blood and meat bits.
Kiana arrived at CCF in April 2007 with her half-sister Kayla when they were around 2 years old. They live inside CCF’s 64 hectare pen known as Bellebeno. Although they share the enclosure with a number of other cheetahs, Kiana and Kayla stick together. Before arriving at CCF Kiana and Kayla were kept in less than ideal conditions and were not fed a proper diet, resulting in them being much smaller than other cheetahs of the same age. Kiana also has a heart murmur and receives a pill every day to lower her blood pressure. To give Kiana her pill her keepers hide it in a piece of meat and chuck it in front of her before the main feeding.
Little C was orphaned at about six weeks old, and was kept alive by the big heart of a young Namibian boy. The boy, a young farm hand, found him in a tree not long after Little C’s sibling had been killed. The boy hid him in a chicken coop, and shared his food rations and goat milk with the small cheetah. The boy successfully hid him for nearly a week from his parents and the farm’s owner. His parents found out and notified CCF. Because of that little boy, Little C is now a resident cheetah at CCF. LittleC’s name was taken from Chewbaaka, our late cheetah ambassador, whom we affectionately called Big “C”. Little C arrived at CCF at just a few weeks old and was hand-reared. He is extremely comfortable around humans.
N’Dunge and his brother Shunga were only two months’ old and orphaned when a farmer discovered them on his land. It was June 2008; they were wandering near the sheep and goat corral, and were considered threats to the livestock. Therefore, CCF was called to pick them up. N’dunge (or Smart Man) was named by a volunteer that helped raise him because of his intelligent demeanor. He and his brother Shunga are virtually inseparable, and very difficult to tell apart. N’dunge and his brother spend their time lounging around in the sun. N’dunge has a small build and a perfect cheetah face, with tear-marks that run precisely to the corners of his mouth.
Nina was born in January 2000, and arrived for the first time in August 2000 with her brother Josie when they were 8 months old. They arrived with their mother, whose hind foot had been badly injured by a gin trap. After five months of treatment, they were all re-released. Sadly, their mother’s radio collar showed no movement a few weeks after they were released. CCF’s Research staff tracked the collar on foot, only to find that the mother had died. The cause of death was unknown, as vultures had already eaten a lot of the carcass. Nina and her brother were caught on neighbor Harry Schneider-Waterberg’s farm. They were very hungry, but otherwise healthy. Nina is a cheeky cheetah, she will hiss and spit at the gate as her food is catered to her in the morning.
Padme was almost one year old when she came to CCF with her brother Obi-Wan in September 2008. They had been trapped by a farmer who kept them for two months with the aim of capturing their mother. However, their mom never showed up so CCF was called to collect them. Upon arrival at CCF, Padme and Obi-Wan were placed in an enclosure with another of our orphaned cubs, Anakin, and they got on very well. Anakin was named after a character from the Star Wars movies and so explains the inspiration for naming Padme. As the 3 cubs quickly reached maturity, it became necessary to separate brother and sister. Therefore, Padme was moved into an enclosure with Bella.
Peter was caught by a farmer in the Khomas Hochland area, east of Windhoek, when he was about one year old. CCF does not know what happened to the rest of his family as he was too young to be on his own at that stage. The farmer gave him to a lodge, and he was kept there as a companion for their tame cheetah. However, they never got along and after a year the farmer decided he did not want Peter anymore. CCF fetched Peter in June 2006.
Phoenix’s mother was shot by a farmer who saw her as a threat to his livestock in August 2008. When the farmer saw movement in the mother’s stomach he decided to cut out the four cubs who were just about due to be born. The four cubs’ existence was then discovered by a concerned neighbour who took the cubs from the farmer and brought them straight to CCF. At only two days old the four cubs were very weak and sadly one of them died. Fortunately the remaining three, two males and one female, pulled through and showed no ill effect from their traumatic start in life. The female was named Soraya which was chosen by the lady who rescued the cubs and brought them to CCF. Soraya is the Persian name for the star cluster that we call “The Pleiades” or “The Seven Sisters”. In keeping with this celestial theme the two males were named Phoenix and Quasar. Unfortunately, in 2013 Quasar passed away and Soraya escaped her enclosure, but Phoenix still remains at CCF and is loved by all of his keepers.
CCF had been following Polly’s mom via satellite radio collar for a year; and in July 2009 a farmer called to say the mother was found dead. CCF staff knew that she had cubs, so, working with the farmer, they set catch cages and caught Polly with her three siblings after about a week. They were ~3 months’ old. They now live at CCF. Polly is the only female of the four cubs, and is named after Polly Hix, a donor of CCF. She is playful and never misses an opportunity to pounce on and wrestle her brothers until they respond and play with her.
In February, 2013, a local farmer had found Rainbow by the side of the road and had brought her back to his farm. After a week of trying to nurture her back to health, he called CCF to pick her up. CCF found Rainbow in a small cage. She was frightened, and while the farmer had been able to give her a little food during the week, she was very thin. She was given the name Rainbow, in honor of the bright rainbows that had appeared in the sky during the more than three hour drive it took to retrieve her. Rainbow is one of a pair of cubs that have formed a coalition of sorts after both were rescued from different farms. She and her coalition mate, Aurora, are adjusting well to life at CCF and are quite popular with our visitors.
Rohini came to CCF as a tiny cub and received a lot of tender care from Dr. Marker and the rest of the CCF staff. Rohini was named for one of CCF’s supporters who at the time was living in Namibia. Rohini is a strong and beautiful cheetah, and loves to run. She enjoys chasing the lure on our running course, and visitors enjoy watching her. Her natural grace and her feisty attitude make her a favorite among the CCF family.
Romeo was a farmer’s longtime family pet. The farmer and his wife had to leave their home for assisted living and released Romeo into CCF’s care. Although he was very well cared for and is a very sweet cheetah, the practice of taking cheetah cubs as pets is generally not allowed. We are thankful that he was so well cared for and that the farmer entrusted CCF with Romeo’s future care. He will be integrated into CCF’s other ophans and hopefully create some lifelong bonds with members of his own species.
In September 2005, CCF received a call from a farmer who had caught three two-month old cubs. He caught Hermione first, Ron three days later, and Harry four days after that. The cubs were very weak and had apparently lost their mother, whose fate remains unknown. Ron is named after one of the characters in the popular books by J.K. Rowling. Much like his namesake, Ron is one of most comedic cats at the Centre, pulling at his siblings legs or stealing food right from under their noses. He loves to be the big brother of the Hogwarts trio. He often chases his sisters around the pen for play, preferring to chase them than chasing lures. Ron’s distinguishing marks are his kinked tail and almond-shaped eyes, which are a very light amber color.
Rosy and Daisy were born in March 2002 and arrived at CCF along with their brother Mushara the following February. A farmer who had been the recipient of one of CCF’s Anatolian livestock guarding dogs was delivering cattle to a farm near Omaruru and saw these three sitting in a small cage on the farm. He called CCF, who obtained permission from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism to confiscate them. They had been held for at least five months in a 4 x 6 metre cage that appeared to never have been cleaned. Despite the heat there was no water in the cage when CCF collected them and the cage was full of carrion including rotting baboon and jackal carcasses. Because they smelled so bad, CCF named them after flowers. Unfortunately, Daisy was found dead in November 2006, probably as the result of a snake bite. In December 2008 Rosy was went to the NamibRand Reserve to help us keep five re-introduced males within the preserve. Now she is back at CCF where she is content to lay in the sun.
In October 2003, CCF was told of three orphaned cubs being held at a farm in need of immediate attention. After negotiations with the farm owners, the three cubs were handed over to CCF; a larger male named Mr. Big and his two sisters, Samantha and Carrie. The three cubs were found to have been kept in a small cage for two months. All three cubs exhibited signs of severe calcium deficiency, resulting from a very poor diet. What happened to the mother is unknown. Samantha was not walking when she arrived at CCF. An x-ray confirmed that she had a damaged pelvis due to crumbling bones. Her bones healed well with an improved diet. Samantha, despite her small stature, never seems to mind being little, you’ll find her perched on a fallen tree branch or log, waiting with a keen eye on the action at the farm.
Sandy arrived in September 2000 along with her two brothers when she was only eight weeks old. Their mother had been shot in a game camp and they had been captured when aged just four weeks. In 2001 her brothers went to the White Oak Conservation Centre in Florida, USA. Sandy is closely bonded with her adopted sisters Dusty and Blondi who arrived at CCF around the same time. Sandy, unlike her coalition-mates Dusty and Blondi, Sandy will shyly try to avoid the spotlight, which is hard, as she is one of the main attractions at the CCF Centre.
Senay is one of the four Okakarara Cubs, which were brought to CCF when they were only a few weeks old in 2010. Senay and her brothers Khayjay and Peter and her sister Tiger Lily live together at the CCF Center and are being specially trained to be Ambassador Cheetahs. They will meet visiting school groups, distinguished guests, farmers, and other people from all over Namibia, and will teach everyone they encounter about the cheetah and its race against extinction. Senay loves to keep company with her siblings and works very cooperatively with her handlers.
Shunga and his brother N’dunge were found without a mother in the Gobabis region and were brought to CCF in July 2008 at the age of 3 months. A farmer found the two wandering near the sheep and goat corral, and considered them a threat to his livestock. They were found without a mother, and were therefore caught and brought back to CCF where they were hand-raised by CCF staff. The two brothers were very quickly introduced to another young cat called little C and the three have forged quite a bond and are now almost inseparable. Shunga (or Blonde Man) was named so by a volunteer because of his light-colored coat, and other than that one, slight difference, he and his brother N’Dunga are virtually impossible to tell apart. Almost like identical twins, the two stick together through thick and thin. Shunga is a very laid-back cat, usually sleeping through the day near his brother. As a runner, Shunga has a beautiful stride and always acts as if chasing the lure were the best game ever invented.
Solo was born in February 2000 and arrived at CCF during the following January. She was caught on a sheep farm south of Windhoek with her sister and brother estimated at 13 months old. What happened to her mother is unknown and in 2001 her sister and brother went to White Oak Conservation Centre in Florida, USA. Solo is one of the fastest cheetahs at CCF, despite her advancing age; she loves to run and even when the food is gone, she will keep pace with the truck, and is one of the alpha females in the Bellebeno group.
Tiger Lily is one of the four Okakarara Cubs, which were brought to CCF when they were only a few weeks old in 2010. Senay and her brothers Khayjay and Peter and her sister Senay live together at the CCF Center and are being specially trained to be Ambassador Cheetahs. They will meet visiting school groups, distinguished guests, farmers, and other people from all over Namibia, and will teach everyone they encounter about the cheetah and its race against extinction. Tiger Lily loves to chase the lure and keep company with her siblings and works very cooperatively with her handlers.
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