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Friday, 23 December 2011

The Ecology Team Reporting

The wild female cheetah with her five cubs have been satellite tracked since
their release on 9 December. As of 20 December they had travelled 23 km from
their release site to the south of CCF property and onto our neighbour's

Our Earthwatch volunteers unfortunately finished up their two-week placement
last weekend. (On the photo, Earthwatch assists with cheetah collaring.) We
were sad to see them go, as they have been extremely helpful. They were busy
assisting with many aspects of the ecology department, including spotting
animals on our monthly game counts. Whilst on one of the field game count
earlier this month we saw a herd of eland grazing with their small calves.
We managed to snap a photo and count them all! Earthwatch also helped a lot
with our camera trapping. We were impressed to see a civet captured on one
of our camera traps, as they are usually very rare in this area.

We continue to radio track our resident male cheetah, Hi Fi, to monitor his
movements and spatial usage. However, we had not picked up a signal from him
for some time so we successful trapped him last week to fit him with a new
collar. Whilst anaesthetised, we gave him a health check and noticed that he
had quite a lot of ticks on him, so we spent over an hour picking them all
off! We then released him onto the airstrip (photo), where he proceeded to
run away. At first he turned around back to the crowd watching him, trotted
parallel to us and stopped to stare at us. He then made a run for it in the
opposite direction back into the safety of the bush.

The four male cheetahs that were in Bellebenno training camp have now been
moved back into smaller enclosures after a successful month of fending for
themselves. They are now ready to be released into the wild and Bellebenno
is vacant once more with plans for additional cheetahs to participate in
CCF's re-wilding programme sometime next year.

Best wishes to all for the Holidays!

Niki Rust

1 comment:

  1. Eleanor York1:21 pm

    Glad to know we volunteers were useful, Hi Fi is a beautiful cat.