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Tuesday, 14 March 2006

Cheetah Update: Nestle

From your last update on Nestle, 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 Nestle, her sisters Toblerone and Hershey 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 pen with 8 other females.

The "Chocolate Girls" are all very frisky. When CCF staff are in the 200 acre enclosure at feeding times, Nestle, Hershey and Toblerone 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. Nestle and her friends are always very curious and up for a run. Nestle is the most shy of the three sisters.

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.

Nestle tipped the scales at 35 kilograms, this is just below average for a Namibian female cheetah (average is 36 kilograms). 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. He did, however, smooth the posterior cusps of her posterior mandibular molars.

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