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Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Cheetahs' Update from Keeper Matt

A few weeks ago the three Scar males (Phil, Tony, and Mischief) were formally introduced to the "Wild Boys," three wild males that arrived here last March: Chuck, Geno and Crosby. The two trios have had spent a month living in neighbouring enclosures and investigating one another through the fence; despite some early squabbles the all settled down and behaved.

The prospects of a safe introduction looked good but just to be safe our cheetah keepers were armed with sticks so they could separate the boys and put a stop to any fights that broke out. The guillotine between the two enclosures was opened and the Scars entered into the wild males pen. Things started off a little tense as the two sets of males engaged in a stand off. It was Chuck who broke the ice first and slowly walked over to the Scars. His reward for his bravery was a smack in the face by Phil. Chuck backed off and the stand off resumed. However, things quickly improved and Chuck and Crosby were allowed to come close to the Scars and partake in some mutual sniffing. After 20 minutes things had calmed down and Chuck and Crosby were allowed to lay with the Scars. Geno has always been the shyest of the Wild Boys and decided to stay in the corner. Since this first introduction the six males tolerate each other but are far from best friends. At feeding times there is still the occasional squabble, with Phil being the guiltiest by picking on Geno. We are confident that given time all six cats will become more civil with each other and hopefully form a close bond.

The two 6-month old cubs (a brother and a sister) that arrived recently have been moved to a different enclosure due to the female’s mischievous tendency to climb up the side of her pen. Therefore to be extra sure the little Houdini wannabe does not escape, she and her brother were moved into a pen designed for holding leopards, a pen that has one major difference….a roof! Upon release into their new pen the female wasted no time in checking out her new surroundings and spent a lot of her time looking up for a possible exit. Given time, the two newcomers will settle down and realise that they are safe here.

Happy New Year to all! And please remember that the Year-End Challenge is still on for three more days. Every donation received through 31 December will count twice!


1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:08 pm

    Matt, thank you (and Laurie, and all the other keepers/CCF Namibia team members) so much for these wonderful peeks into the life of the cheetahs. To me, these posts are the very best part of the blog, even more so than the gorgeous photos, because they make the reader feel truly connected with CCF's work. Thank you, and your other team members, for taking time from your hectic schedules to write these wonderful posts. I look forward to every one!Margaret