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Thursday, 15 September 2005

A tail of two cheetahs

While testing trip cameras to be used in cheetah population estimates, CCF photographed two male cheetahs visiting the 64-hectare cheetah pen where 11 of our resident female cheetahs live.

The photos clearly showed that one of the brothers had a severely injured tail. Almost a month later when photographed a second time, the tail showed no signs of healing. Trap cages were set and the injured cheetah was caught the same night.

Dr. Mark Jago at the Otjiwarongo Vet Clinic amputated the necrotic section, leaving only about 6 cm of tail. As this cheetah had to be held in CCF's quarantine pens while his wound healed, his brother was also captured to ensure he did not leave the area.

Much to our surprise, this very healthy cheetah weighed in at a record 60 kgs, the heaviest wild cheetah recorded by CCF. Once the tail healed, both were released to resume their lives on and around CCF farms.

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