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Saturday, 12 November 2011

Four Cheetahs Out, Three Cheetahs In.

Last Monday, only two days before collaring Ombdillo, Anakin, Obi-wan and Chester for release, CCF collected three cheetah cubs trapped by a farmer near Hochfeld. They were trapped with their mother, but sadly she was shot by the farmer, leaving the young cubs as orphans at approximately four months old.

We would like to clarify that the farm where the cubs were collected was not the same farm where the cheetah mother was shot. In fact, this farm rescued the cubs from the other farm. We apologise for not explaining this important fact. The farmer that called CCF was in fact helping the cubs and we truly appreciate his involvement. The picture below was taken at the farm where the cubs were cared for while awaiting to be picked up by CCF staff.

The cubs on their way to CCF
Once at CCF, the cubs were anaesthetised the following morning for a health check-up and sample collection by Laurie Marker, CCF veterinarian Dr. Gaby Flacke, veterinary nurse Rosie Glazier, cheetah husbandry team Juliette Erdstieck and Rachel Shairp, as well as several interns and two working guests.

The workups
The cubs, all males, had no trauma wounds, although they were quite thin from not having eaten for several days while in the trap. They were given vaccinations and treatments for de-worming and flea/tick prevention, as well as transponder microchips for identification purposes.

Two of the three Hochfeld cubs
So far the cubs are doing fine and although they are very shy and scared, they are eating well and seem healthy. They will live at CCF and hopefully one day will be able to be released into the wild.

What happened with these cubs is exactly the type of situation that CCF aims to avoid through education and outreach programs to teach people that there are many ways to prevent and reduce predator conflict issues, other than shooting the predator. As it is customary, the CCF staff invited the farmer to learn more about predator-friendly farming tools.

In the meantime, we are excited about the release of the four collared males into the 4,000-ha training camp tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Gaby

8 comments:

  1. Anonymous1:22 am

    when will it ever end....?? I can only assume and hope that this farmer did not have a guard dog....and will now hopefully get one, before he does it again?????

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  2. Yes, that is our goal. Thanks, Anonymous.

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  3. Anonymous6:59 am

    We hope these cubs will be released in the future as a male coalition if it's possible and learn to hunt together at CCF....a new experience may be!

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  4. It's terribly, terribly sad to hear about farmers shooting cheetahs and then CCF recovering any orphaned cubs. But I can't imagine in years past what the survivors' fate had been before CCF popped onto the radar. There's still so much more work to be done but this is progress ... despite the loss.

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  5. Anonymous8:24 pm

    Last week I watched Big Cat Week on Nat Geo Wild. It was so awesome seeing how these cats live and survive. Will the lives of these three cheetahs be domumented on video for us to watch? Cheetahs have been my favorite animals for as long as I can remember, it breaks my heart when I hear statistics of them possibly not being around in 20 years. I have young children and I would hate to think that only a picture of cheetahs will be around when they become adults.

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  6. "Will the lives of these three cheetahs be domumented on video for us to watch?" - Anonymous. We can't really say, since this is not a CCF project, but we are glad to know you are enjoying it!

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  7. Anonymous1:17 pm

    This is not the truth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  8. Dear Anonymous:

    We have just posted a clarification that there were two farmers involved. The one who captured the cubs, and the one who rescued them. We are very thankful to him and apologise for the misunderstanding. The farm pictured above is of the farm where the cubs were cared for after being rescued.

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