Greetings from Namibia! Quite a lot has happened since your last update:
In mid-February, Nestlé, 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. Nestlé weighed in at 35 kilograms (77.5 pounds), the same as last year.
In addition to the annual physical exam and in conjunction with our ongoing research collaborations, Nestle was also chosen to be part of a study assessing renal disease in captive cheetahs. Renal disease is considered to be the leading cause of death in captive cheetahs. In a study of 29 zoos in the USA, renal disease was found in 82% of cats; in South Africa, the prevalence rate is 80%. There were three age groups: young, middle, and old; Nestle at 4 ½ years old, was in the middle age group.
Nestlé and her two sisters are always found together and are very distinctive in their appearance; beautiful cats with fluffy round faces. She is always standing next to Toblerone, and although not the bravest, she is always ready to help her sister when needed.
Thank you again for sponsoring Nestlé and we hope that we can count on your continued support in the future.