On a sunny Sunday morning, CCF’s Educational Cheetah Ambassadors had the opportunity to meet the US Ambassador to Namibia, Thomas F Daughton, accompanied by his wife Melinda, and U.S Department of State’s Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Linda Thomas Greenfield, her Public Affairs Officer, Amanda Jacobsen, and the Embassy’s Economic and Commercial Officer, Caroline Dow.
It was truly an honour to host this group for a ½-day visit to CCF’s International Research and Education Centre, which began with CCF’s Ambassadors Peter, Kayjay, Senay & Tiger Lily displaying their magnificent speed and elegance during the Cheetah Run. These cheetahs, like many of the unreleasable orphans given sanctuary at CCF, are regularly exercised on a lure; their speed and grace delighting thousands of visitors every year.
Our guests then continued on to learn more about CCF’s work. The tour included CCF’s Model Farm, where they observed our goat herd going out for the day accompanied by a CCF Livestock Guarding Dogs and our long-time herder Armas, who is as passionate about the goats he and his Anatolian Shepherd Dog looks after every day as he is passionate about conservation farming practices. Armas shared with the group anecdotes about the different predators he has encountered over the years and how he has never lost any of his livestock to predation. Our visitors had an opportunity to meet some of our Anatolian Shepherd dogs before moving on to the CCF “Dancing Goat” creamery, where CCF showcases an alternative method for farmers to utilise livestock through dairy products from goats.
CCF’s Educator, Ignatius David, shared with our visitors information about CCF’s educational programmes, showed them Camp Lightfoot where CCF hosts Namibian and international youth groups for overnight programmes, and took them on a cheetah safari at CCF’s Elands camp. Our General Manager, Dr. Bruce Brewer, explained CCF’s Bush project for habitat restoration and showed them the site for the future Bushblok factory. Prior to lunch, Dr. Brewer gave our visitors a general overview of CCF, followed by a presentation on CCF’s efforts to combat illegal cheetah trafficking by Patricia Tricorache. Before leaving, the delegation enjoyed lunch at the Cheetah Café, where they had an opportunity to taste a meal that included ingredients produced at CCF, such as our goat milk cheese and vegetables from our Chewbaaka Memorial Garden.
Throughout the day CCF had the opportunity over and over again to showcase the diversity of what CCF is doing to improve the world for the cheetah’s benefit. From our multicultural, national and international staff, volunteers and interns, to our departments ranging from ecology, genetics, education, tourism, natural resource management and ongoing work with farmers, both rural and commercial.
To say the least, our visitors were blown away at the extent and monumental task of what CCF is engaging in, within and beyond the boundaries of Namibia and Cheetah.