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Tuesday, 14 March 2006

Cheetah Update: D'Artagnan

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

As you know, the "Three Musketeers" were about eight months old when they arrived at CCF after their mother, one sibling and two other adults were shot. The three cubs are inseparable, and it was inevitable they would become named after the brave fictional musketeer characters: Athos, Porthos, and D'Artagnan.

D'Artagnan is the clown prince of the musketeers. He is very shy and wants nothing to do with people. Even at feeding time he approaches his bowl reluctantly and tries to grab a hold of his meat without taking his eyes off the scary humans. On one occasion, his bowl was located next to the water bowl and, thinking he was grabbing dinner, instead got a face full of water.

In December, the “Three Musketeers” underwent their annual health examination, performed by our Veterinarian, Dr. Arthur Bagot-Smith. These health checks are part of the Namibian permit requirements and also give us the opportunity to check on the health of our cheetahs. During the exam, each cheetah undergoes a clinical examination, from head to tail to ensure all joints are working and internal organs, such as the kidneys feel normal. They are also checked for external parasites, treated if necessary and vaccinated for feline distemper and rabies. Blood is also collected and these samples are screened for viruses and overall health to make sure that all organs, such as the liver, are functioning well.

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