On Sunday our main Education Team (Matti, Fabiano, Leigh, Gail, and Jacqueline and student Ngwnge) met up with 22 participants from our 3rd International Integrated Livestock Wildlife and Predator Management course. Participants are from 4 countries – Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, and Mozambique. We spent Monday and Tuesday in extensive course workshop with teachers from Windhoek. Then last night we all came back to CCF and – the course continued today.
Yesterday we had a call from the Ministry of Wildlife in Damaraland (communal area to the west) and a cheetah cub was in their offices. According to Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) official, the communal farmer had dogs barking during the night of Monday morning at the kraal (pen) and went to investigate.
A mother cheetah with two cubs was found in the kraal and had killed already five goats. The mother and one cub managed to escape before the people came at the kraal but the remaining cub was captured. The next morning the local MET called to fetch the cub from the farm. He said that if the cub was old enough to fend for itself he would have released it in the area were the mother might be roaming still. Unfortunately the cub is about 4 months’ old and thus not old enough to be on its own. That is when they called CCF.
The cub was in his office when we arrived, and to keep her from escaping – they don’t have animal facilities at the office. The official informed CCF staff that there is a high number of livestock losses in that region due to cheetah and leopard. CCF will be contacting farmers in the area to provide them with human-wildlife conflict solutions. It is important to bear in mind that the loss of one single goat can case tremendous financial strain to these farmers, thus teaching the farmers how to avoid these losses is crucial.
The cub at four months in the wild, should be a wild, nasty, hissy, spatty half crazy/mad cheetah cub in the presence of people. Instead after spending the day with her – she’s quite relaxed and tolerating my presence. The cub is in a small crate right next to me, as calm as could be. We will do a work-up and health assessment as soon as possible.