Leia, one of our non-releasable cheetahs, had a problem with her salivary gland recently. This is something that has occured at least twice before since I’ve been here (2 and a half years), and this time I think it’s resolved for good. I noticed that when she hissed, the left side of her tongue looked bubbly; that was the same as before. we had a vet come out and anesthesize her. It turns out there was a miniscule hole in the gland and a piece of foreign debris got in and infected it.
Our vet, Dr. Axel Hartmann from Otjiwarongo, took the infected gland out so that she won’t be having anymore problems. She was on antibiotics for a few days and then returned back to her big pen. She’s doing fine. We introduced another cat into that area, Shadow. Shadow is 9 years old and was at Bellebeno –CCF’s 64-ha pen, but she wasn’t getting along with the other cheetahs there. We decided to move her closer. That was actually the same reason why Leia is also in this pen with Blondi, Sandi, and Dusty. So Leia and Shadow are in the big pen now, and they seem to be ignoring each other for the most part.
We are currently caring for 45 cheetahs that cannot be released back into the wild. CCF cares for these orphaned, old or injured cheetahs that cannot be released back into the wild as they do not have the skills or physical capability to survive. Although CCF is not a welfare centre, it does accommodate these non-releasable cheetahs. If another approved home becomes available, CCF relocates these cheetahs to an alternate captive facility. However, many of these cheetahs are permanent residents of CCF, and fortunately we have many donors who help us fund their food and veterinary care through our Cheetah Sponsorship program. We can’t thank them enough for their help!