At CCF’s Field Centre in Namibia, we recently received and hosted a group of amazing young Environmental Science students from Colby College, USA. These students travelled across the world to see and learn about the fastest land animal ‘the Cheetah’. The group was led by Dr Philip Neuhaus and a CCF alumni Dr Jeff Muntifering, and they stayed at our Camp Lightfoot education accommodation from 9 – 11 January 2023.
During their stay at CCF they were not only able to meet some of our education ambassador cheetahs but they got the opportunity to learn about the different aspects of the cheetahs and their ecosystem and the work that CCF does to ensure their continual survival in the wild.
The students CCF journey started off with the informative overview of CCF by the master mind herself Dr. Laurie Marker, and continued with different presentations and activities focused on CCF research and education activities. All CCF research programs are carefully designed to increase our understanding of the cheetah’s biology, ecology, threats to their survival as well as different threats mitigation measures. While the education programs are designed to raise awareness about the cheetah and their ecosystem and to educate both the national and international community on conservation and ways to coexist with predator species.
The visiting students were able to attend and participate in several activities including the talk on cheetah keeping and husbandry, the use of scat detection dog to find the black gold (cheetah scats) for genetic analysis, LGD program that breeds and allocate dogs to farmers to guard their livestock and reduce human wildlife conflict, the talk and demonstration on human wildlife conflict (HWC) and the different ecological research activities including our famous Biomass Technology Demonstration Centre (BTDC). The BTDC serves as a way to showcase how the sustainable harvesting of encroacher species can be turned into fuel logs in the effort to open up habitats while reducing pollution and increasing economic benefits.
After all the informative and interesting talks and activities the trip was concluded with a breath taking Serengeti Drive and Sundowner in the CCF reserve. Here the students got to experience how it feels to have wildlife roaming freely in the wild and just how important it is to learn to co-exist with wildlife.
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