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Tuesday, 14 March 2006

Cheetah Update: Rosy

From your last update on Rosy, 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 Rosy, her sister Daisy 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.

Rosy and Daisy, the “Flower girls”, 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 could learn how to hunt, Rosy especially! She was found successfully hunting on numerous occasions, while Daisy was waiting for her to "bring home the bacon". 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 now 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.

Rosy tipped the scales at 37 kilograms, this is just above 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 had to remove a fractured tooth from Daisy. But, he confirmed that her teeth were looking great with the wear on her teeth being minimal.

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