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Tuesday, 14 March 2006

Cheetah Update: Tempesta

From your last update on Tempesta, 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, Tempesta was brought to CCF in 2003 after a distressed farmer had been forced to shoot her mother who had contracted rabies. Luckily Tempesta did not have to suffer a similar fate as she was in a poor condition after being abandoned by her very ill mother, but did not contract the disease.

Tempesta shares her enclosure with Samantha, Luna and Cleo. In order to prepare for her annual physical, Tempesta was given markered meat so that her scat could be identified and collected for research analysis. A large piece of meat was tossed to her in the enclosure and each day the race was on with her, Samantha, Luna and sometimes Cleo, in hot pursuit. As they became accustomed to the game, they would each get their respective positions at the approach of the keeper, with Tempesta posed like an Olympic sprinter in the starting block. The chase, as each gets one piece of meat, while the others run after whoever has the first piece frequently go on for several minutes, with the cats often reaching full speed.

In 2005 Tempesta had CCF staff and keepers very worried after not eating for a few days and looked to be in a lot of pain. She was taken to the vet immediately, and all at CCF were shocked to hear that her spleen had ruptured and had to be removed. Luckily the operation went smoothly and Tempesta was reunited with her friends soon after. To this day it is uncertain what exactly happened to her, something that will most likely remain a mystery.

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