Well, spring is definitely in the air here at CCF. All the trees are starting to sprout new green leaves, there are baby Oryx, Eland and Zebra around and we even had our first few drops of rain last week (though barely enough to really count though). Suzie, a year-long volunteer from Cardiff University in the UK has taken over checking our cheetah census camera traps every week as well as downloading and sorting through all the photos. She is doing a great job and everything seems to be going well. Here are a few recent camera traps photos featuring a leopard, an aardvark and some eland calves.
As far as the data side of the census is concerned we are currently also being assisted by a number of school classes and students in the US who are currently helping us enter some of the data from the cheetah census. Matti is currently working on identifying all the different cheetahs we’ve had come to our play trees in the past year of our census; this is a big job, but we are excited to see how many different cheetahs we have in the area. Suzie also came across some exciting new photos of the cat we call Wild Mum visiting a playtree.
Wild Mum was released by CCF in Feb this year with a collar. We monitored her movements for five months via the satellite data. When we went to retrieve her collar (which had a time release mechanism on it) we stumbled across a den with at least three tiny cubs in it! Since then we hadn’t seen her. The recent photos show that she is alive and well and still has three healthy baby cheetahs with her. You can see two cubs playing in the tree and the third by the mother. This tree is situated near our Bellebenno cheetah camp.
Since the beginning of this census in mid 2010, we have seen three set of cubs, all from different females, captured by our camera traps at play trees.