Welcome to my first annual Cheetah Charity Ride! For more information on the event happening on August 20th see the event page. I am a volunteer for the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF). This charitable organization was founded by Dr. Laurie Marker and is dedicated to saving cheetahs in the wild. Unfortunately, cheetahs are a threatened species. They face many problems like poaching, human-wildlife conflict, and severe habitat loss. CCF works to solve the underlying problems, within the human community, that are causing the decline in the cheetah population. Additionally, CCF treats injured cheetahs and releases them back into the wild. Much effort is spent to educate the local population about the importance of cheetahs in the ecosystem and how best to live in harmony with predators. This is especially important, as cheetah driven tourism is a precious revenue source for the local communities.
I adore animals and African wildlife. My dad, Vishva Dixit, is in fact originally from Kenya! He was nice enough to take the family on our very first safari in 2008. I just fell in love with the animals, the culture and the beautiful game parks. We go back each year. We derive great pleasure from viewing the stunning wildlife in their natural habitat, as well as in supporting charities dedicated to their conservation.
Last year, I got involved with CCF. My mom, Manjul, along with Angelina Mertens, the Northern California representative, Linda Francis, another CCF devotee, and I organized our first charity event in October last year. Themed as a “Wine and Cheetah” get together at our home in Los Altos Hills, it was a resounding success!
Personally, I have always wanted to do volunteer work in a wild life sanctuary in Africa. My wish came true this year when I spent time in Namibia volunteering at the CCF International Education and Research center. What an amazing experience I had! I got to work with cheetahs as well as Anatolian shepherds. These protective and loyal dogs are part of the Livestock Guarding Program and are trained to keep cheetahs away from farms. Some of the tasks included walking the shepherds, setting up camera traps in the adjoining game reserve and feeding the cheetahs. I got to appreciate the enormous amount of effort that goes into maintaining such an exceptional facility, which is truly a godsend for cheetah conservation. All the staff down to the interns were incredibly passionate and dedicated to the CCF mission.
My goal for the Charity Ride at Cyclebar is to raise money for CCF, and to help educate others about animal conservation and anti-poaching efforts.