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Monday, 7 May 2007

D'Artagnan - April 2007

Greetings from Namibia! Quite a lot has happened since your last update:

In mid-February, D’Artagnan, along with the rest of our resident cats, underwent his annual physical exam. As part of an ongoing study of gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining) in captive cheetahs, several gastric biopsies were taken using an endoscope. This year for the first time, staff and volunteers were able to see inside of the esophagus and stomach via the endoscopic camera using a monitor. He was also given his annual vaccines against rabies and other feline diseases and Frontline was applied to help control flies and ticks. Up five pounds from last year D’Artagnan weighs 43 kilograms (94.6lbs).

Since the exams we have noticed even more distinct differences in their personalities. D’Artagnan, who still exhibits some of the awkward behavior that is characteristic of a juvenile, is one of the gang of 5 “tough guys.” When they are fed, they approach slowly, heads down, rumbling, hissing, and sometimes stomping and acting very aggressive. It is quite a sight to see all five coming in together. D’Artagnan is always the last to grab his food partly because of his shy behavior but also because in a rush he often misses. Along with the other guys he looks vicious as possible when rushing in to grab his meat and then joins the others at their safe and secluded spot under the tree.

Thank you for again sponsoring D’Artagnan and we hope that we can count on your continued support in the future.

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