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Friday, 15 July 2011

July: Celebrating Chewbaaka and Freedom.

All my colleagues at CCF Namibia are preparing for CCF's biggest annual event in Windhoek tomorrow: our fundraising gala, a Celebration of Speed and Elegance, which takes place every year in July and this year will honour the greatest cheetah, Chewbaaka.

July is a special month for us at CCF. For 15 years, we celebrated Chewbaaka's birthday, and for the rest of our lives, we will celebrate his life and legacy. I can't think of the many achievements made by CCF without appreciating the important role Chewbaaka played --and continues to play-- in cheetah conservation.

As it turns out, July is also a big month when it comes to celebrating freedom. 22 countries celebrate their independence in July, including the US and six African countries: Burundi, Rwanda, Somalia, Malawi, Egypt, Ethiopia and Liberia.

Thinking of Chewbaaka and freedom reminded me of one of CCF's great achievements: the successful re-wilding of several cheetahs in the last few years.

Did you know that the five Chocolates now roaming free in NamibRand and the Erindi Game Reserve (Toblerone, Nestle, Hershey, Cadbury and Lindt) were all born in July 2002? The five siblings came to CCF after having been caught in a farm near Otavi. Strangely, their mother was never found. We believe she was shot since cheetah mothers don't typically abandon their cubs. The males Cadbury and Lindt were released in Namibrand in July 2008 along with coalition members Mushara, Ra and Kia. The females Hershey, Nestle and Toblerone went to Erindi with a fourth female, Chanel, last January.

Seven years later, also in July, four tiny and scared orphan cubs (photo - right) that we affectionately named the "Scars" --Phil, Mischief, Tony and Polly, were born and came to CCF. We loaned all three males to the Naua Naua Lodge, where they have been enjoying life and educating visitors at this game reserve since last March.

So, here is to a very successful CCF gala in Namibia tomorrow, and to Chewbaaka and free cheetahs!

Happy July everyone. And please remember, the Chewbaaka Memorial Challenge is on, and it will only last through 31 August. Please donate now and make your donation count twice!



  1. Happy July, Patricia and CCF!

  2. natasha zapata8:24 pm

    Hope the Gala is a smashing success. Thanks again CCF for all your hard work! Thinking of Chewbaaka and "my" three orphans... Quaser, Soyria and Phoenix, always in my heart!!!!!!

  3. Margaret Wilkie8:01 am

    Have a fine time tomorrow night, and I hope you raise lots of money for the babies. Most of all, toast the wonderful life and accomplishments of Chewbaaka---I know I will.

  4. Anonymous2:48 am

    Thank you for your dedication to a dear friend in the eyes of many around the world now.
    Chewbaaka will live on in everyone's heart who learns his story.

    All my feline relatives ate well today in his memory.

    North Carolina, USA

  5. Anonymous3:25 am

    Life is more of a treasure if it can be shared.

    Thank you for allowing those so fortunate to learn about Chewbaaka, share our lives with him and you as well.

    Marty Stouffer on "The Wild Kingdom" once said: "Animals know love."

    It is certain that Chewbaaka proved it to be true.

    Best wishes to you and for all your sharing.

    Life is more of, if not only, a treasure if it can be shared.


    North Carolina