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Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Update from Laurie in Namibia

We just had our awards ceremony for our 4th Conservation Biology course and graduated 22 people from 8 countries.  We had the Botswana High Commissioner here, the 1st Secretary from the Kenya High Commission and the Regional Warden from our Namibian Ministry of Wildlife.   It was a really good day with final presentations from the course participations and so much good will in all our efforts to make the cheetah survive for the future.  On another note, we are planning for our annual gala (July 17th) and we will be highlighting our partnership with the farmers and meat industry.  I will keep you posted on this as we go forward towards our Gala.  I was smiling a lot today. And a sick dairy goat that we have been nurturing for the past several days (a story in its own right) is doing better today!  We have put cheetah Polly and Rohini Tallala together with Harry and Hermonie yesterday and they seem to be doing OK today.  So a good day has been had by all!

And Chewbaaka will be 15 in 2 days – we have been giving him sub-q fluids every other day and he is a star for accepting us doing this. He is looking good.

Lots of cheetah purrs.


Friday, 25 June 2010

NamibRand female - update as of 22/June

The female has spent the last six days roaming exclusively on Neuhof Noord, after crossing the border from Omkyk shortly after 1 A.M. on June 17th.  As of yesterday morning (02:26) she was close to the Hammerstein border.  Rob


Thursday, 17 June 2010

Sheba the cheetah has a new home.

Back in 2005, CCF spearheaded the confiscation of two cheetah cubs in Ethiopia: Scout and Patch, with the help of many amazing individuals and organizations.

Not long after that, in the summer of 2006, a Canadian pilot contacted CCF about a male cheetah cub in that country, which he named Sheba. Sheba became an educational ambassador at Omo National Park under the care of CCF’s former volunteer and long-time friend, James Young, and later went to live at the National Palace in Addis Ababa until a wildlife center was built –a project undertaken by the Born Free Foundation, which had generously funded Laurie Marker’s trip to Ethiopia in 2006 to begin discussions about cheetah conservation in that country.

A few days ago, one of the many people involved in these rescues sent us the following e-mail:

Remember Sheba, the cheetah?  The one who brought us all together in the summer of 2006?Four years later, Sheba is where we all had hoped he might live out his days in grace, dignity and comfort: the newly established Ethiopian Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre outside of Addis Ababa!  He even has an "enclosure-mate", Menelik, another cheetah who came to us as a cub in August 2008, and who now is another feisty full grown male.  Reports are the two cheetahs are getting along like brothers..... 

Scout and Patch did not make it. Their health was so bad already when they were rescued. However, their short lives fulfilled a great mission for their species as the world turned its attention to the illegal pet trade in their country. CCF is thrilled to know that the Ethiopian Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre is now a reality. In the meantime, Ethiopian conservationists continue to attend CCF’s international courses and learning how to apply their training to real-life situations back in their country, which will hopefully translate in a better future for cheetahs in that region.


(Photo courtesy of James Young, Project Director, Born Free Foundation/Ethiopia.)

Sunday, 13 June 2010

NamibRand Boys - update as of 6/June

The collar on Mushara has managed to send in a little more data this week, and we have a grand total of three points, spread over three days (one each day).  Early afternoon on Friday they were close to the Boscia waterhole.  Just after Midnight on Saturday they were close to the holding pens, and on Sunday morning they were apparently heading back towards Boscia.

I have no way of telling what part of the collar is failing, i.e. if it is failing to download GPS points, or failing to upload them.  Once we get the collar back however, it will be possible to access to complete set of GPS points downloaded for the entire time the collar has been operating.



Wednesday, 9 June 2010

More CCF Rhino images

There are no good images of rhino 3 from this past month, but here is a good one showing both rhino 4 (foreground) and rhino 5 (background).  R4s ear-notch is clearly visible.


NamibRand Boys - update as of 31/May

The data downloads are getting very hit and miss now, and given the paucity of data this week, this may well be my last update on the boys until the collars are replaced, which could very well happen before the end of June. We will keep you posted.  

As in the past, they have spent a lot of time at the old pen and around the Sandgrouse waterhole.  On two occasions they also visited Jagkop, and indeed my last point for them is on the eastern edge of it.



The CCF rhinos

Internet permitting, I am going to try and share the best camera trap images for each rhino, each month.  Unfortunately, I can only send one picture per email, so here is rhino 1.

You can clearly see the location of the  transmitter on the anterior horn, and the distinctive sharp point of his posterior horn. This picture is also clear enough to be added to my database of eye-ridges, which are the one feature that remains constant throughout a rhino's life.




Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Quick update from the field

HI – have been a very busy few days.

Last night we had nine new puppies – five males and four females. The dam is Penda and the sire is Amos.  She is one of the females that was bitten by a puff adder about two weeks ago.  These future livestock guarding dogs are very cute!

The puppies timing was great because we have a French film crew here from One Planet. They will be here until Thursday filming for a series called SOS (Sauvons les Orphelins Sauvages) in French, that means “Save the Wild Orphans”.  The documentary is presented by journalist Olivia Mokiejewski . We did a lot of filming and more tomorrow.
Our international course participants are here – they arrived on Saturday afternoon. Sunday we had presentations all day, getting to know about each of them and them about us and CCF.  There are 14 so far from Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Niger, southern Sudan, Namibia, and Brazil – we have students still coming from Ethiopia, but their visas were held up due to new regulations coming through South Africa due to the World Cup.

We have many visitors and new arrivals, like one of our Namibian Board members who won last year’s auction for the Babson House at our CCF Gala.  My parents are also here and have been meeting an greeting volunteers, international students, and visitors. Some of these include three EarthWatchers that arrived last night and two US summer interns: an engineer  from U of Pacific and a vet student from Cornell. Our other three students who have already been here for the past week have settled in very well. And today we had a group of students from University of Arizona.  Many of them came to my talk when I was in Tucson a few weeks ago.  

The cheetahs are all doing great. Tiny cheetah Rohini Tallala is very cute; she is living with the four “Scars”.  As for Chewbaaka, he has lost weight, but overall is looking good…just a bit wobbly in his walking. He went to his play tree yesterday with our international course participants and was very happy marking his territory.  For the past couple days Anne, Bruce and I have been giving him sub Q fluids each evening. He purrs as we are doing this. Fortunately he does not really know what we are doing except my petting him.  

OK – that’s about it – ofcourse there is always more.


Friday, 4 June 2010

NamibRand female - update as of 1/June

The female has covered a lot of ground recently, spending time on Omkyk, Swartmodder and Neuhof Noord. She ended up 11 km NE of the NRNR border.