Thursday, 22 March 2012
I didn't expect to hear anything further from this cheetah, or to be able to make any more updates, however the situation has changed again. I've been able to re-establish contact with the satellite collar and hope that this will be the first of many more weekly updates.
Since it has been a little while since the last report, I am including data for the whole of March and have also attached two maps (a close-up, and a more general area map showing where she is in relation to the NamibRand Reserve and Namib-Naukluft National Park.
For the past several weeks the female appears to have been operating exclusively on the farm of Lahnstein and has been sticking to the river valley in the south of the property. Our most recent data point, recorded at 03:36 this morning, places her 58 km NE of the NamibRand Reserve, 55 km NW of Maltahohe, 41 km SE of the Namib-Naukluft border, and 1.5 km N of the Lahnstein border with Kamkas.
Sunday, 18 March 2012
On 7 March, Amani the cheetah had her annual exam performed as well as having some extensive dental work due to several broken teeth. She had a root canal performed on two canine (fang) teeth, and one premolar tooth. Performing root canals instead of extracting these damaged teeth will allow Amani to continue to tear, hold, and chew the meat she is fed without problems. Amani was also found to have a lesion on the cornea (surface) of the right eye. A corneal lesion is generally caused by trauma, for example walking into something and getting a scratch on the eye, or a piece of grass or sand that gets into the eye and scratches the surface. Infectious conditions can also cause eye ulcers in cats, including Herpes virus and several different bacteria. Amani’s corneal lesion will be treated with daily eye drops and monitoring closely. She is also receiving several days of anti-inflammatory pain medication and antibiotics due to her root canals. Otherwise Amani was in good condition and all parameters on her annual exam were within normal limits. She recovered well from her procedures and was back to eating meat pieces by the next morning.
Saturday, 17 March 2012
Kiri’s puppies are growing up fast! They are now six weeks old, and received their first vaccination against distemper virus, parvovirus, adenovirus and parainfluenza this morning. The vaccine is a combination of all four diseases, and each puppy will receive a series of three of these vaccines at 6, 9, and 12 weeks of age. When they are 12 weeks old they will also receive their rabies vaccinations.
All the puppies were well-behaved and hardly noticed their vaccines being given. They are happy and healthy and cute as can be!
Sunday, 11 March 2012
Safaris, Cheetahs, Africa – The Best Way Is to Show ‘Em
BY ALAN FELDSTEIN
In 2000 I made my first trip to Africa. It was during that safari I fell in love with Africa and everything about it – the people and their culture, the animals, the natural beauty of the landscape. The first time a giraffe bent her graceful neck to peer into my safari vehicle – well, she had me at jambo (Swahili for hello). All I had to do was see it for myself.
When I came back I told anyone that would listen how amazing Africa was and that they had to go – tomorrow, if not sooner. Most would nod and say – yeah sure…someday. I would reply you have to see it for yourself.
But I could not shake my passion so I went back to Africa. Again, and again and again. Finally I took my son and daughter on their first African safari On that trip, I got the chance to combine a wildlife safari with my other passion – kayaking. I had become friends with our safari organizer, Steve Chumbley, on a previous African visit and discovered we shared a love of kayaking. So, during this trip, the two of us set off exploring in kayaks Steve had built himself. Launching off the coast of Tanzania, we explored remote areas no other kayakers had ever been. But even that was not enough for me. So, enlisting Steve as my Tanzania-based business partner, I decided to start a safari company – Infinite Safari Adventures. Now, when people tell me they want to go to Africa “someday,” I can tell them “Someday is Now!” And help them see it for themselves.
Seeing is believing. I will never forget taking my kids to pet gray whales in Baja Mexico. After the long bus and vehicle travel from Tijuana to Baja, they were, to put it mildly, not happy. But all the whining, complaining and texting to friends was forgotten when we first set out on the water motorboat. Within, 10 minutes, a gray whale appeared close enough to our little motorboat to touch (and kiss). The next thing I heard was that this was the most awesome trip they had ever been on. After witnessing a mother whale and her babies playing, you will do anything in your power to save the whales. My son is now pursuing his degree in environmental education. All he had to do was see it for himself.
|Petting a grey whale with my son in Baja.|
|With Laurie and my dog Heidi who became a fast friend to her.|
If you are reading this blog item you are most likely a fan of CCF. But no matter how big a fan you are you have to see it for yourself.
That is one of the things that make me most passionate about Infinite Safari Adventures. Taking people on safari to see wildlife, meet the local people and experience all there is to see and do is the start of “paying it forward.” One person becomes inspired, who inspires others, who inspires still others and eventually there are enough inspired people that cheetahs, whales, rhinos, elephants and yes, even lions whose populations have been decimated will have a chance to live on for future generations. All you have to do is see it for yourself. Want to know how? Just ask me.
Infinite Safari Adventures
Thursday, 8 March 2012
The following morning Erina released Gooey at the nest site with his parents and siblings present. Contrary to popular belief, bird parents will take back their young even after handling by humans. Gooey flew into a nearby tree and started calling; and his mother immediately flew over to him and the family was reunited! Gooey has been seen at the nest box repeatedly since the incident and is doing fine! We covered the site on the ground where the sap had dripped to avoid a repeat problem, and Gaby’s cutlery from lunch the day before was still lying on the ground next to the place where Gooey had been rescued.
Gabriella Flacke, DVM, MVSc
Tuesday, 6 March 2012
Last year a brown hyaena took exception to one such camera and chewed it to death, and on several other occasions cameras have been pulled off of trees and carried off into the bush by roving bands of intensely curious baboons. Generally the baboons lose interest within a few minutes, but finding the cameras can still be a challenge; they often sustain damage in the process, and one ended up at the bottom of a waterhole.
|The hyaena got it. (c) Cheetah Conservation Fund|
|Lappet-faced vulture extreme close up. (c) Cheetah Conservation Fund|
We are also looking to considerably extend the range and coverage of our camera trapping survey and are hoping to increase our number of cameras in the next few months. You can help with CCF’s invaluable ecological research into Namibian wildlife by purchasing one of these cameras for us. Our preferred camera trap models are the Bushnell Trophy Cam Pro model 119436 ($200USD) and Reconyx Hyperfire HC500 ($450USD). For more information on CCF’s Ecology wishlist, please visit the CCF's Ecology Wish List page by clicking here.
Monday, 5 March 2012
On the first of March, Minja went to Otjiwarongo to visit the dentist and to have her annual examination. Annual examinations are generally performed in April of each year on all of CCF’s cheetahs, but since Minja has been waiting to see the dentist for some time now, we decided to combine her dental appointment with her annual exam so she would only have to be anesthetized once. Dr. Profitt, our human dentist friend who graciously takes care of all of CCF’s cheetahs, examined her teeth and took several dental radiographs. Fortunately she did not need a root canal! Her annual exam included taking blood samples for overall health evaluation, taking a vaginal cytology to check her stage of the estrus cycle, performing an ultrasound (sonogram) exam of her abdomen to check her kidneys and other organs, removing all ticks, applying Frontline parasite prevention, collecting a fecal sample for gastrointestinal parasite check, giving her annual vaccines against rabies virus and feline distemper, and a general physical exam to evaluate her body and hair coat condition, feel her joints, and check her weight. Minja checked out just fine, she is a healthy cheetah who now also has clean teeth and a beautiful smile!
See attached photos.
Gabriella Flacke, DVM, MVSc