Please read Lee and Misty Tyree’s letter to supporters below. You too can make an impact like the Tyrees by making a contribution to CCF today.
A lot of people go on safari in Africa and say it is a life-altering experience. But when you visit Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) in Namibia that really is true. Witnessing conservation with our own eyes moved us to increase our commitment to CCF and its fight to save the cheetah many years ago. But today, we are asking you to join us in supporting the work of CCF.
We are people who care for others and for our planet, and we have always had a love for cats, both big and small. Many years ago we were introduced to CCF and Dr. Laurie Marker, CCF’s Founder and Executive Director, at a CCF event at Safari West in Santa Rosa, California. From the moment that we heard Dr. Marker speak, we were enthralled. Her knowledge, enthusiasm, and passion for the cheetah were infectious. We were also fascinated with the two ambassador cheetahs that were present. We began supporting CCF through regular cash donations, the first that evening, and then soon after with larger donations for specific programs. We were impressed by the results the organization was realizing for the cheetah in Namibia, so our commitment grew. One of us loves to travel (Misty) – and the other is from Missouri, the “show me” state (Lee) — so we planned a journey to CCF to “check” on how our money was being spent. Our only regret is that we did not do this sooner!
At CCF, we were so impressed by the scope of operations and the quality and dedication of the people who work there. We also quickly learned that a visit to this field research and education center is not a passive experience. We began interacting by helping care for CCF’s resident orphan cheetahs, feeding them meat from the back of a bouncing truck zipping across bumpy, dirt roads in CCF’s sanctuary. Talk about a cheetah adventure! We pitched in at CCF’s model farm and helped care for some of the new puppies in CCF’s Livestock Guarding Dog Program. We learned how they grow up to provide farmers with a non-lethal tool for guarding herds, sparing cheetahs and many other predators from needless deaths (okay, so we did pet them too).
Of all, the things about CCF that impressed us most is how closely its conservation activities are tied to the science it helps create. During our journey, we accompanied CCF researchers tracking cheetahs outfitted with satellite collars into the bush. The collar transmits a signal researchers can detect and use to gather data about the cheetah’s home range, demographics, hunting patterns and behavior in the wild. Collars also provide data on a cheetah’s whereabouts, to assist researchers in locating them for health checks and to troubleshoot. Collars are expensive (around $5,000 each), and they need to be replaced every so often. Ever since that visit, we make sure to give an annual gift to support cheetah research and the purchase of these important satellite collars.
As a result our trip to CCF and “The Cheetah Capital of the World,” we re-affirmed our commitments to the species and CCF. Animals need our help, especially such a vulnerable species like the cheetah, and we give to CCF because we know our dollars are being put to best use.
We need your help. Please join us in the fight to save the cheetah by making a generous contribution to CCF today, so together we can save this beautiful, iconic cat for future generations.
Lee and Misty Tyree
Friends of CCF, Northern California