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Tuesday, 14 March 2006

Cheetah Update: Hershey

From your last update on Hershey, 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 Hershey, her sisters Toblerone and Nestle and their brothers, Cadbury and Lindt were born around July 2002 and arrived at CCF in February 2003. Toblerone, Hershey and Nestle live in the 200 acre Bellebeno enclosure with 8 other females.

The "Chocolate Girls" are all very frisky. When CCF staff are in the 200 acre enclosure at feeding times, Hershey, Toblerone and Nestle will come out of the bush jumping and playing. The "Chocolate Girls" are all grown up now, having lost their fluffy baby faces they now look like beautiful adult cats. The girls are always together and other cheetahs sometimes share their company. Hershey and her friends are always very curious and up for a run.

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. The “Chocolate Girls” follows the car very closely, keeping nicely up to speed as they like to be one of the first to get their food that is then thrown out of the back of the truck to each individual cheetah.

Hershey tipped the scales at 36 kilograms, this is average for a Namibian female cheetah. 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. However the distal cups of her lower posterior molars were slightly jagged and these cusp tips were smoothed.

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