As a NGO we rely heavily on donations and sponsorships, however the recent economic climate has affected the amount of funds people can afford to give. Therefore in 2009 the cheetah will need even more help from its friends all around the world. So please don’t be shy about spreading the word about CCF to your friends and family, we will need as much help and support as possible.
Despite these difficult times everyone here at CCF is continuing to do their best and as always it’s been a very busy 2 weeks. Firstly I have good news regarding the wild cheetah known as ‘Marvellous Marvin’. As you may recall Marvin came to us in very poor condition, weighing only 37kg. One detail of Marvin’s story I forgot to mention was that he came to us with a radio collar around his neck which had been placed there by Jorg Melzheimer, a researcher for the Cheetah Research Project and good friend of CCF. When we collected Marvin Jorg was notified and was very keen to collect him when he was fit and healthy so he could give him a new radio collar and release him back where he first trapped him. Well, after 3 weeks of receiving a 3kg piece of meat and 2 vitamin pills every day Marvin reached an impressive 51kgs and was therefore ready to be re-released. So on Wednesday the 10th that is exactly what happened. Marvin was first put under anaesthetic and underwent a work up which was attended by Jorg. We were able to ascertain his weight, take further blood and sperm samples and Jorg fitted Marvin with the brand new radio collar. Marvin was given some time to recover and was then taken by Jorge to be re-released and thanks to his radio collar and Jorg’s research it will hopefully not be the last we hear of him.
Lizzie, our livestock guarding dog programme co-ordinator returned to CCF from her trip to the Mara Conservancy in Kenya and Lizzie is glad to report that it was a huge success. Kenya, the puppy that accompanied her on the long trip who will guard the local Masai’s livestock did CCF proud and behaved impeccably. Lizzie and Kenya were greeted by the Mara Conservancy staff and the local Masai with open arms and great enthusiasm. Lizzie was somewhat overwhelmed by the attention but little Kenya took it all in his stride. The Masai were at first unsure how to handle their unfamiliar new companion and petted him nervously as if he may break, but with reassurance from Lizzie the Masai soon learned that Kenya was made of stronger stuff and gave him a hug or two. So it seems the livestock guarding dog programme in Kenya has got off to the best possible start and we all wish Kenya good luck for his future as a very important CCF livestock guarding dog.
We are also currently running another of our farmer courses where farmers from all over Namibia come to CCF for two weeks and learn all about effective farm management that is profitable and predator friendly.
Our number of resident cheetahs went from 50 to 48 as two of our females, Misty and Rosy, were relocated to the Namibrand Nature Reserve which my colleague Chris Gordon has published a blog about so please make sure you check that out to find out why this was done and how everything went.
I hope you all had a great Christmas and enjoy your New Year celebrations. For me it has been my first Christmas away from home and it couldn’t have been more different to what I’m used to! On Christmas morning instead of enthusiastically opening presents with my sister under the Christmas tree and tucking into my mum’s delicious Christmas dinner I found myself weighing puppies and driving around Africa checking cheetah enclosure fences. Being English, experiencing Christmas with the hot weather we are currently having also took a bit of getting used to.