Hi! My name is Julius, I’m seven years old and I LOVE CHEETAHS! In April, I met Dr. Laurie when she came to Massachusetts. I live in Rhode Island so it was only about an hour away but my Mommy and I made a whole trip of it and stayed in a hotel with a pool. I was so excited to meet Dr. Laurie. In the hotel, we read from the book about her, Chasing Cheetahs by Sy Montgomery and Nic Bishop. You can see her holding it in the picture after she autographed it for me.
I have loved cheetahs for six years. I first started liking them because they can go up to 70 miles an hour. Some books say 60 but I know it’s 70. I first learned about them from Steve Jenkins’ Biggest, Strongest, Fastest which is one of my favorite books. I have a bunch of other books about cheetahs but my favorite is Chasing Cheetahs because Dr. Laurie is in it. I have a movie called Duma and another one showing a cheetah and a dog becoming best friends. In the picture, you can see two of my cheetah stuffed animals but I actually have three. Their names are Duma, Zoom and Mjuvi.
For my 7th birthday, I went to see The Wild Kratts Live. I wore my blue Cheetah Creature Power Suit. I learned that day that Martin and Chris’s favorite animal is the cheetah, too! I have a few cheetah action figures and my mom sewed them to my last Halloween costume. I was Mother Earth and one of the habitats on my costume was the grasslands.
Every month, I go to Roger Williams Park Zoo to the Zoo Adventures program to learn about animals. Last year, the teacher, Mackenzie, let me be her assistant when the animal of the month was the cheetah. I taught the other kids about their non-retractable claws and how they use their tail for balance. For my birthday, Mackenzie actually adopted a cheetah in my name!
My mom helped me donate some money to the Cheetah Conservation Fund after we learned about Dr. Laurie’s work. I still can’t believe I got to meet her! I would like to go to Africa someday to see a cheetah run. At the zoo, they mostly sleep. But I’m glad the zoo has some because that is how I first learned that I loved them.