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Tuesday, 14 March 2006

Cheetah Update: Daisy

From your last update on Daisy, we’d like to tell you a bit more about her and what she has been doing over the past six-month period.

As you know Daisy, her sister Rosy and their brother Mushara arrived at CCF in February 2003. As the cats reached sexual maturity, they needed to be segregated and Mushara was put together with other male orphans of similar age.

Daisy and Rosy, the “Flower girls”, are sisters and spend most of their time together. In 2005, CCF started a "cheetah release" project and Rosy and Daisy were the lucky two chosen for this. They were released in a 4000ha game camp on CCF property. The 4th day after their release they caught a warthog proving that they are very good hunters, Rosy especially. On numerous occasion Daisy was spotted waiting for Rosy to "bring home the bacon" while Rosie was hunting. Unfortunately they moved to a neighbouring farm and caught a goat after having been released for 6 weeks. They were brought back to their 200 acre enclosure where they live with 8 other female cheetahs.

The “Flower Girls” are very relaxed cheetahs, maybe remembering their time outside the same way we humans would a memorable holiday...however, the food arrives every day like clock work. When it is feeding time, the girls often wait at the gate and stalk the truck as if it is their prey. Once in, the CCF staff drive the truck down the road of the 200 acre enclosure, with the cats running behind. This gives them daily exercise before getting their food. Daisy is the most talkative female cheetah, coming up close to the vehicle at feeding times, "talking" to the keepers with a very high-pitched chirp.

Daisy weighed in at 32 kilograms, this is below average for a Namibian female cheetah (average is 36 kilograms), however she has a small frame and is in very good condition. During her physical, she also had all the burrs combed out and CCF volunteer and visiting dentist, Dr. Larry Friedman, who assisted with the workups, confirmed that even her teeth were looking great with only a slight wear on her teeth.

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