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Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Marvellous Marvin

With so much going on the last couple of weeks I've forgotten to mention a cat we recently picked up who we affectionately called 'Starvin Marvin'. Marvin is estimated to be around 5 years old and was collected on the 31st of October from a farm in the Gobabis region. He was found in very poor condition as he had been held in a trap cage for a month because the farmer was using him as bait to catch other cheetahs.

Such prejudice towards the cheetah is still found in Namibia and is something CCF constantly tries to combat through education. Marvin was brought back to CCF and when placed on the table for his work up all CCF personnel were shocked to see how thin he was, weighing only 37 kg. After the work up Marvin was then placed into one of our quarantine pens to start his recovery. Everyday since his arrival Marvin has been fed a 3kg piece of meat (normally our cats get fed 2kg) and two vitamin pills. Slowly but surely Marvin has regained some of the weight he'd lost. Not only has he improved physically but also mentally, as for the first few days Marvin would always be found laying down looking very depressed and lethargic only moving to eat his food. However, he is much more active now, greeting his keepers by slapping his paws on the floor, hissing and spitting, which is exactly how a healthy wild cheetah should behave. It is only now that we have realised just what a big and handsome cat Marvin really is and is now known as Marvellous Marvin! It is hoped that once he has fully re-gained the weight he lost he will be able to be released back into the wild, I will keep you posted.

It was an important week for our eight month old brothers, Ngungu (Ovambo for clever) and Shunga (Ovambo for yellow) who made their public debut. The brothers came to CCF after they had been orphaned at the age of 3 months and since then have been cared for out of the sight of the public. The brothers have become great friends with our ambassador cheetah LittleC who they now see as their big brother. They were allowed to have full access to his enclosure for the first time this week and they were not shy at all about coming up to the feeding area at feeding time and posed for many a photo.

It was also a very important week for our livestock guarding dog (LSGD) programme as one of our livestock guarding dog puppies was donated to the Mara Conservancy in Kenya, the puppy who was suitably named 'Kenya' was accompanied by Lizzie, our LSGD co-ordinator, on the journey, and both received a warm reception upon arrival. ' Kenya ' will hopefully be the first of several dogs as we hope the LSGD programme in Kenya has the same success as it has in
. I will tell you more about Lizzie and Kenya 's adventure in next week's blog when I will have heard all about the trip upon Lizzie's return to CCF.

From Matt (a week ago)

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