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Monday, 7 May 2007

Luna - April 2007

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

In mid-February, Luna, along with the rest of our resident cats, underwent her 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. She was also given her annual vaccines against rabies and other feline diseases and Frontline was applied to help control flies and ticks. Luna weighed in at 39.5 kilograms (86.9 pounds), down almost 2 kilograms from when she was last weighed in July.

Luna still occupies the area near the lockdown pens, which was the area that was the first introduction to Bellebeno for her and her three coalition mates. However, Luna seems to be the only one of the four using that area, as the others have settled in other areas of the 64 hectare enclosure. At two and a half years old, Luna is at the age when she would separate from her siblings to start having cubs. That instinct to be alone might be the reason that Luna has chosen to be on her own.

Although she is submissive towards people, she seems to have established a dominant role in the big enclosure. During feeding times, she slaps the other cheetahs away if they get too close

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

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