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Saturday, 29 October 2011

Exciting sighting! Wildmum and cubs caught on camera.

Suzie, a year-long student from Cardiff, came across some exciting new
photos of the cat we call Wildmum while monitoring our cheetah census camera

You might recall that Wildmum was released by CCF in Feb this year with a
collar. We monitored her movements for five months via the satellite data.
When we went to retrieve her collar (which had a time release mechanism on
it) we stumbled across a den with at least three tiny cubs in it! Since then
we hadn't seen her. These recent photos show that she is alive and well and
still has three healthy baby cheetahs with her. You can see two cubs playing
in the tree and the third by the mother. This tree is situated near our
Bellebenno cheetah camp.

Since the beginning of this census in mid 2010, we have seen three set of
cubs, all from different females, captured by our camera traps at play


Thursday, 27 October 2011

Cheetahs aiming high...way high!!!

I went for a walk with some of our male resident cheetahs last evening. The gang had been out of the pen next to the dam for a few days due to construction of the new, adjoining pen. littleC immediately went up in the tree while "The Boys" (Smartman and Blondeman) and Ron checked out the big mound. After littleC came down, Ron marked the tree as cheetahs do and moved on. Smartman did not even bother doing that. But Blondeman decided to go up….way up! This is much higher than I have ever seen the Stars or littleC!

Bruce A. Brewer, PhD
General Manager

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Thanks ALL - I'm back home!

Hi! I made it back home Sunday evening with enough time to say hi to all the
animals and see all the different construction progress and have dinner with
the staff. All the animals look really good –Isha and Finn, the scat finding
dogs, went crazy to see me and both have tried to keep me in their sight
since I got back. The OK cubs and the Stars were also very glad to see me,
loud purrs!!! The horses were happy and all the goats, goat kids and
livestock guarding dogs are looking great! Yesterday was a good day as I was
able to catch up with everyone.

We worked on Klein (photo) – the herpes virus lesions on his legs are not
looking very good, so he had more treatment to clean them, in addition our
local dentist came out to CCF and did another root canal on him. We had two
visiting vets with us yesterday and today – friends from the San Francisco
area, Kathy Gervais and Alan Stewart – we know them from WCN. Today, they
helped us in the goat yard, as all the goats got their annual rabies

And as you know, never a dull moment, a French film crew has arrived,
fortunately today and not yesterday, when they were scheduled, thus allowing
me more time to catch up. It's hot, and there are some clouds in the sky. We
are hoping for some rain soon as there are a lot of lighting and thunder
storms around. 

Thanks to all who participated in one way or another in my nearly two
month-long and very productive USA tour. This would not have been possible
without all our chapter, volunteers, staff, and of course, our friends and

Many cheetah purrs,


Saturday, 22 October 2011

Full day of doctor's appointments for Darwin

On Monday 17 Octobe we took Darwin, a 5-year old male cheetah at CCF, to Otjiwarongo for some medical care. First he stopped in at the Otjiwarongo Veterinary Clinic where he saw Dr. Axel Hartman for some radiographs. He has been limping on his right front leg for several weeks now, and it did not improve with administration of routine anti-inflammatory/pain medication. He was examined under anesthesia and the findings of the exam and the radiographs are concerning for a possible pinched nerve in the neck, maybe due to injury or a herniated disc. He is now on stronger anti-inflammatory medication and hopefully this will help his problem.
Darwin's right shoulder and elbow.

Darwin at the dentist.
After his x-ray appointment, Darwin headed down the road to the see dentist, Dr. Dennis Profitt, where he had a root canal performed on his right upper canine. The tip of this tooth had previously been broken and there was an infection in the tooth root. The root canal went fine with no complications, and he is back to having a healthy smile. Now we are just patiently waiting to see if his limping will also improve.

Thank you,
Gabriella Flacke, DVM, MVSc

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Wildlifexpo – Alexandra Palace (London, 14-16 October, 2011)

The Wildlifexpo, a major new wildlife exhibition, was finally upon us and after much planning and preparation, CCF UK was ready and waiting to take part. A stand had been set up in prime position in the exhibition hall for all the visitors, and our name-board certainly stood out in the crowd.

We spoke to a great many visitors over the two day Xpo and raised awareness of the plight of the cheetah and also the Cheetah Conservation Fund and the work carried out in Namibia and around the world. Our stand was also visited by a number of people who had already volunteered at CCF Namibia and wanted to become more involved. Meeting the enthusiastic volunteers who were helping out certainly increased interest and visitors were requesting information on volunteering and sponsoring a cheetah. Barbara of Big Cat Photography, who kindly allowed us to share her stand, also sold cheetah pins and cuddly toys on our behalf which were well received.

Unfortunately Laurie was not able to fit the Xpo into her busy schedule so I gave lectures on her behalf. The lectures covered the ecology of the cheetah and the work of CCF. They were well attended and many questions were asked giving us the opportunity to really raise awareness and offer ideas of how the UK can become more involved. We hope to organise and attend many more events in the coming months.


Anja Bradley
Development Research Consultant
Cheetah Conservation Fund (UK)

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Ombdillo gets a root canal.

Last Thursdy we took Omdillo, a 6.5 year old male cheetah, to the dentist torecheck on a tooth that had a root canal performed about one year ago. This tooth, a maxillary (upper) canine, left side, was very discoloured in appearance, thus we were worried the previous root canal had failed.

Canine teeth (they are called canine teeth, even though they are in a feline animal!) are very important for grabbing and killing prey. This cheetah will hopefully be re-released in the near future, and thus having all four canine teeth functional is very important for him to be able to hunt successfully in the wild. The tooth with the root canal was rechecked and the filling was partially replaced.

Canine tooth after root canal
Omdillo also had a mass (growth) on the left lower lip, which was surgically removed. It will be sent to a veterinary pathologist so they can tell us exactly what type of tissue it is, and whether or not it is something to worry about. The surgery went well and he is eating normally today. The stitches are absorbable and will dissolve within a few weeks, when the lip is healed. Finally, he also had three tiny (4mm) skin biopsies taken for a genetics research project being conducted in collaboration with CCF and the University of Namibia.
Skin after three biopsies taken and the skin was sutured

PS Don’t hold your breath for the results of what the lip mass actually is; sometimes it takes weeks to months for us to get those results from the laboratory, unfortunately, which is very frustrating for us, too. I will update when we do get the result.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

New Camera Trap Images from the CCF Ecology Team.

Well, spring is definitely in the air here at CCF. All the trees are starting to sprout new green leaves, there are baby Oryx, Eland and Zebra around and we even had our first few drops of rain last week (though barely enough to really count though).

Suzie, a year-long volunteer from Cardiff University in the UK has taken over checking our cheetah census camera traps every week as well as downloading and sorting through all the photos. She is doing a great job and everything seems to be going well. Here are a few recent camera traps photos featuring a leopard, an aardvark and some eland calves.

As far as the data side of the census is concerned we are currently also being assisted by a number of school classes and students in the US who are currently helping us enter some of data from the cheetah census. Matti is currently working on identifying all the different cheetahs we’ve had come to our play trees in the past year of our census; this is a big job, but we are excited to see how many different cheetahs we have in the area.

Otherwise, we are continuing with our on-going projects like game counts and keeping tabs on our resident wild cheetah Hi-Fi, but also spending a lot of time in the office catching up with paper work, data entry and analysis as well as preparing for the next Earthwatch group and the upcoming cheetah release.
Well thanks about it for now.

Kat Forsythe

Amazing Days at CCF for the Amazing Kids Private School

Amazing Kids meet the OK Cubs.
Eleven months ago the Amazing Kids Private School from Windhoek visited the Cheetah Conservation Fund and participated in an education program. This is when they first heard about the story of the Okakarara Cubs, the so called OK Cubs, which were two months old at the time. These children were so touched by the story of the OK Cubs that on the last day of their program they decided to sponsor their favourite cub, Tiger Lily. After months of collecting sponsor money, 32 children and three teachers (3) came back for a four-day program on the 19 September.

During this program the children learned more about cheetahs, Namibia, and CCF. On the first day the group went out for a nature-trail walk. This walk leads the children through CCF farmland to teach them more about the flora and fauna species of Namibia. On this walk they also looked for scat samples and learned from which species this could be. The museum tour allowed the children to learn more about the ecology, biology, and history of the cheetah as well as the role that CCF plays in conservation worldwide. On the predator 'preyground', a playground that allows visitors to take the role of a predator and their prey and test their skills of survival, the kids conquered the actions of predators and their prey. Furthermore, they saw cheetahs run from a close distance and went to the goat kraal where they learned more about the importance of the livestock guarding dogs. They even got the chance to meet seven-week old Anatolian puppies who are future livestock guarding dogs.
Tiger Lily with her new sponsors.
On Wednesday the children and teachers got to meet the four OK cubs and greet their sponsored cub Tiger Lily. They donated N$1000 for Tiger Lily and the cause of CCF. In the near future, the Amazing Kids Private School will continue sponsoring their favourite cub Tiger Lily, because they understand the need for conservation of the cheetah and want to help with the cause.

CCF and Tiger Lily would like to thank the Amazing Kids Private School, Windhoek, for their support to continue our work in conservation and education.

Our thanks also to CCF's Patricia Munene and Ignatius Davids, who led this effort, and to student intern from Holland, Marieke Reijneker for her help.

Cheetah purr to all!


Tuesday, 4 October 2011

The First of Penda's Puppies Goes To Work

On Sunday, 2 October, the first of Penda’s puppies went to its new home, with a nice couple who have a farm with goats and sheep here in Namibia. When it grows up, this puppy will serve to protect the farmer’s animals from predators like jackals, hyenas, cheetah, and leopards. The future livestock guarding dog puppies all grow up in the kraal at CCF with goats and sheep, so they are used to the animals and learn from their mothers to bark at any sign of danger. Although it seems strange that one small puppy can help save the cheetah, this pup and others like it grow into the livestock guarding dogs that are helping prevent livestock/predator conflict all over Namibia. Thus, each puppy is part of a larger plan to help protect cheetahs and other predators from being shot or poisoned when they prey on farm animals like goats and sheep.

Gebhardt, pictured with paperwork in his hands, explains to the farmers about care of this puppy, as well as which additional vaccines and deworming treatments it will be given by CCF on their first visit to their farm in one month.
Paige Seitz, animal husbandry intern and team leader for puppy care, is pictured with the farmer, his wife, and Gebhardt.

The remainder of Penda’s puppies will go to their new homes on Saturday, October 8th.


Gabriella Flacke, DVM, MVSc