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Friday, 7 December 2007

Collared Cheetah Update

Unfortunately we have experienced a setback that shows the realties we are dealing with. Two of our collared cats have died. The first was shot by a farmer who didn't know whether it was a cheetah or leopard. This is the lack of knowledge that our education programs are meant to combat. On the positive side, upon visiting his farm to retrieve the collar we learned that he didn't know much about the cats and is interested in attending our farmer training courses. It is great to meet receptive farmers and to know some good will come out of it.

Sadly the second cat to die was Bob, a tailless male that we had seen in our camera surveys for the past few years. This year was the first to see him without his brother. While we do not know the fate of his brother we do know that Bob died of natural causes. He was found at a waterhole next to a warthog carcass. It appeared that the warthog injured him during the hunt.

Since then we have collared and released another male and await the fourth again. This magnificent dominant male weighing 54kgs received a complete medical workup that showed him to be healthy. We collected many samples and froze his sperm in our GRB. His release was a beautiful expression of the freedom and power of this most amazing champion of speed.

We continue to check the traps twice a day with the help of our Earthwatch volunteers.

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