In February 2021, the CCF vets were busy with an interesting and challenging case – our cheetah Daenerys went through quite a lot!
Daenerys came to CCF as a cub in 2016, and was successfully rehabilitated and released into Erindi Private Game Reserve. Natural Habitat Adventures helped to fund the GPS collars used to monitor her movements post-release. During the pandemic lockdown, CCF’s staff noticed an issue with her movements via GPS. Erindi’s staff went to investigate and a Guide spotted her limping. She had broken her fibula and dislocated her tibia-tarsus articulation, with all her ankle ligaments getting ruptured. This was a potentially life threatening injury that meant Daenerys needed to be recaptured. She could not remain out in the wild and successfully survive on her own.
Once we got her back to CCF’s Centre we discovered that she was also pregnant! This made the decision to pull her from Erindi even more critical. It was not just Daenerys’ life on the line but a new generation of cheetahs.
After three long surgeries, Daenerys was finally set on the way to recovery and we placed an external fixator, which is a series of metal pins that are attached to the bone through incisions into the skin. She had the surgical wound cleaned weekly at the time, and she kept the fixator until the end of 2021. Once her joint healed completely the pins were removed.
As she recovered, we initially restricted her movement but now she is in a larger enclosure where she can walk and get a bit of exercise. CCF’s vet team and Cheetah Keepers kept a keen eye on her to evaluate her healing, as well as monitoring her joints and see how her muscles are rebuilding.
Khaleesi (her cub seen below) was born during the recovery period and, due to the nature of Daenerys’s injuries, CCF staff stepped in and Khaleesi was hand raised.
Danaerys and Khaleesi now live at our centre in Namibia, and Khaleesi is available for sponsorship! With your support, we are able to provide our resident cheetahs with the best possible care.
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