Greetings from Namibia! Quite a lot has happened since your last update:
In mid-February, Samantha, 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. Samantha weighed in at 32 kilograms (70.4 pounds), down almost 2 kilograms from when she was last weighed in July. This makes her the lightest cat in Bellebeno. However, that doesn’t mean she is timid. She makes up for her size by trying to be a very big cat during meal times, slapping the ground and doing her best to give people a good scare.
Samantha is still in the 64 hectare Bellebeno enclosure along with her coalition mates Tempesta, Luna, and Cleo. She and Tempesta have bonded more, but this is expected, since they came to CCF at around the same time, with Cleo and Luna joining them later. They are both three and a half years old, born in July of 2003.
In mid-January, we had a bit of a scare with her. She didn’t show up to eat for three days, so we decided to search for her. This required 10 people to walk the pen in transects, with no one more than a couple of meters apart. We started at 7am, but lo and behold, when we pulled up to the gate, there was Samantha waiting for us at the gate! Her reward was a nice big piece of meat, which she happily carried off into the bush. Since then, Samantha has shown up to eat every day.
Thank you again for sponsoring Samantha and we hope that we can count on your continued support in the future.