FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Cheetah Conservation Fund Celebrates the 6th International Cheetah Day on 4 December
OTJIWARONGO, NAMIBIA (5 December 2016) — Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) hosted children from the local area and their families to celebrate the 6th annual International Cheetah Day on Sunday, the 4th of December. CCF opened its doors at the Field Research and Education Centre in Otjiwarongo free of charge and offered many activities throughout the day. Children visited trail camera traps set up around the centre with photographs of individual cheetahs and learned how to distinguish the different spot patterns. They tried their hands at playing forensic detective during CCF’s Kill Identification Workshop, learning the different traits to look for to identify which carnivore made the kill, and they put their creative skills to the test colouring pictures for International Cheetah Day and writing one-page short stories.
CCF’s staff and interns from the University of Namibia, the Namibia University of Science and Technology and from various countries from over the world set up station tables and shared their knowledge representing CCF’s dynamic programmes and departments, such as genetics and ecology, with the crowds. Cheetah mascots danced and sung as they offered “high-paws” to passing children, and the Cheetah Café baked up delicious, chocolate cheetah-spotted cookies for all.
The crowds gathered in excitement as CCF staff and interns gave an educational presentation during the daily cheetah feeding. They watched in awe as the cheetahs came racing into their feeding camps to their meals. CCF education staff shared cheetah stories and led visitors through the Cheetah Museum. Kids and adults alike got up-close and personal with some Anatolian shepherds in CCF’s Livestock Guarding Dog Programme along with some of the bottle-raised goats from the CCF Model Farm. Staff members spoke about the important role that the dogs play in ensuring a future for cheetahs.
“International Cheetah Day at CCF was an eye opener for the guests and kids that I brought”, shared Victor Shituleni, Ranger, Regional Services and Wildlife, Ministry of Environment and Tourism. “They got to see and learn about cheetahs as having an important role in the food chain. Cheetahs are in danger of becoming extinct and it is very important for future generations to see them this way and want to help protect them. The kids I brought had never seen a cheetah up close before, and today they were able to not just view them, but to learn about the importance of their roles and to look at them as more than just enemies”.
The International Cheetah Day celebration at CCF was a great success, and the staff is already looking forward to next year’s celebration. But every day at CCF is an opportunity for the public to learn about the incredible work that that takes place there, as the facilities are open to the public 364 days each year, closing only on Christmas Day.
The Cheetah Conservation Fund is located 45 km from the town of Otjiwarongo on the D2440 road. CCF facilities are open every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Centre hosts community members and school groups from Namibia as well as international tourists and groups from all over the world. For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.cheetah.org
Educational materials, including CCF’s Conservation Passport, Activity Packet, cheetah photos, videos and social media links can be downloaded for free at www.internationalcheetahday.org
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MEDIA CONTACT: Dr. Laurie Marker email@example.com, (0) 67 306225 or (0) 811247887
or Nadja Le Roux, firstname.lastname@example.org (0) 67 306225 or (0) 818325764
CCF is a Namibian non-profit foundation with the goal of working with farmers on whose land the cheetah lives. CCF has grown over the past 26 years from its inception in 1990 into a world-class research, education and conservation institution that now serves as a model for other carnivore conservation programmes world-wide. CCF has made significant impact on the cheetah conservation crisis.
Some of CCF’s most important achievements include:
- Mitigating the conflict between farmers and cheetahs by introducing innovative, non-lethal predator control strategies, which include
the introduction of the livestock guarding dog concept and the advancement of communal and commercial conservancies;
- Stabilising the wild cheetah population in Namibia, and helping it grow from approximately 2,500 in 1990 to more than 3,500 today;
- Training more than 5,000 rural Namibian men and women in agriculture and land management techniques through CCF’s Future Farmers of Africa Programme, to enhance livelihoods and increase understanding of basic conservation principles;
- A successful 20-year history of breeding and placing more than 600 Anatolian Shepherd and Kangal livestock guarding dogs with Namibian farmers, and helping launch similar programmes in Botswana, South Africa and Tanzania;
- Impacting more than 400,000 young learners in Namibia through CCF conservation education and outreach programmes;
- Training more than 300 African biologists representing Namibia, South Sudan, Mozambique, Zambia, Algeria, Niger, Benin, Tanzania and Ethiopia in efforts to make species conservation efforts on the continent sustainable over the long term;
- Restoring thousands of hectares of wildlife habitat and farmlands in Namibia by developing an award-winning, biomass fuel product, Bushblok;
- Creating jobs, driving the eco-tourism industry and generating an estimated 100.3 million NAD annual impact on the country’s economy.