My name is Colleen Kelly and I am from the San Francisco Bay area in California. I discovered CCF through Earthwatch and decided to volunteer to learn about working for animal conservation: I have learned a lot!
CCF is a dynamic organization filled with people who are fascinated about caring for the cheetahs under their guardianship and saving the wild cheetah. I worked with experienced, intelligent, creative people. Everyone is incredibly generous, friendly and welcoming and has a great sense of humor. It was a pleasure and an honor to spend 2 weeks with them and to get to know them.
The highlights of my time at CCF start with the work I did with the cheetah husbandry team. Learning hands-on about how to care for cheetahs and working closely with the team to feed them, water them, clean their pens, etc was an energizing experience. Watching the cheetah run was thrilling – the cheetah is truly a remarkable and beautiful animal.
Another highlight was participating in the 12-hour waterhole count, which exposed me to so much beauty of the Namibian wildlife. Even working with the camera trapping photos was a good laugh – and gave me a much-needed respite from the heat.
Overall, being at CCF, learning about how they care for cheetahs and hearing about all the aspects of running a conservation organization on a daily basis has opened my eyes to the challenges they face and how truly inspiring their accomplishments are.
Thank you to all of the staff, interns and volunteers at CCF for a remarkable time.