OTJIWARONGO, NAMIBIA (1 December 2021) — Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) will mark its 11th Annual International Cheetah Day (ICD) Saturday, 4 December 2021 with special cheetah-themed activities and free admission for visitors to its Centre in Otjiwarongo. In addition to tours and the opportunity to observe cheetahs in their natural habitat, visitors will have the opportunity to participate in cheetah games and competitions with the chance to win exciting prizes. CCF’s knowledgeable staff will be on hand to host information booths and oversee the activities. Guests who choose to overnight at CCF’s Cheetah View Lodge will receive a special rate in honour of ICD.
CCF’s goal for ICD is to raise awareness for the cheetah’s plight and inspire more people to take part in conservation. With fewer than 7,500 cheetahs remaining in the wild (down from 100,000 a century ago), the survival of the species depends on human conservation action. Famous for being fast – cheetahs can reach speeds of up to 110 km/h in short bursts – but sadly, they are losing their race for survival. Cheetahs face numerous threats, including human-wildlife conflict, habitat loss, loss of prey base and fragmentation. Their situation is further challenged by low genetic diversity, which makes the species more vulnerable to ecological and environmental changes. In the Horn of Africa, the poaching of cheetah cubs to supply an illegal pet trade demand further imperils the species. Fortunately, Namibia has the greatest density of wild cheetah, and its wild population has stabilised due to successful conservation action.
“Please come out and join us on 4 December to celebrate this magnificent species, the world’s fastest land mammal. There is no better place to spend International Cheetah Day than in Otjiwarongo, the Cheetah Capital of the World”, said Dr Laurie Marker, CCF’s Founder and Executive Director.
For those who cannot travel to the CCF Centre on 4 December, they can still celebrate with CCF online. Teaching and outreach materials, including a downloadable activities packet designed for elementary-aged schoolchildren and a PowerPoint presentation with notes, can be accessed through CCF’s websites, www.internationalcheetahday.com and www.cheetah.org.
Caption: CCF staff in Namibia at the information table in Otjiwarongo during the International Cheetah Day celebration in 2020.
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About International Cheetah Day
Dr Marker designated 4 December as International Cheetah Day within the IUCN in remembrance of Khayam, a cheetah she raised from a cub at Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon. Dr Marker brought Khayam to Namibia in 1977 for a pioneering research project to determine if captive-born cheetahs could be taught to hunt. Their efforts were successful and eventually the pair returned to Oregon. But during this trip, Dr Marker witnessed African farmers removing wild cheetahs from the landscape as a perceived threat to their livestock. In 1990, she launched the Cheetah Conservation Fund and relocated to Namibia to mitigate the problem of farmer-cheetah conflict. Because of her interactions with Khayam, Dr Marker dedicated her life to becoming the cheetah’s champion, and she chose Khayam’s birthday for this important honour.
Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) is the global leader in research and conservation of cheetahs and dedicated to saving the cheetah in the wild. CCF has created a set of integrated programmes based on its research to address threats to the cheetah and its ecosystem. Founded in 1990, CCF is an international non-profit organisation headquartered in Namibia with a field base in Somaliland. CCF is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2020, making it the longest running and most successful cheetah conservation organisation. For more information, please visit www.cheetah.org
Dr Laurie Marker, firstname.lastname@example.org +264 (0)81 124 7887
Annetjie Siyaya, email@example.com +264 (0)81 8228657
Susan Yannetti, firstname.lastname@example.org or +1-202 716 7756