T+256 hours: Scratching and purring

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Little C had a little exercise today. First thing today was a cheetah run with only one cheetah, but he did seem to be quite happy about us joining him in his enclosure.

He doesn’t get quite as much exercise as the other cats, but he sure is more trusting than them. The girls wouldn’t get closer to the humans than they have too, but Little C lay down in front of us once he had enough of running. He was panting heavily and obviously quite exhausted, but while doing so he tried to purr. The resulting sound was kind of cute. I’ve been told he’s rather lazy, but will get more exercise in the future, and he really liked the attention he got – he allowed us to scratch and pet him (this cheetah loves getting earscritches).

After the run Shane, Trina and my humble self walked around the enclosures in hope of finding cheetah scat. The male cheetahs around here are very interested in the females, but since there’s a fence around their pens, they have to mark their territories outside. The wild cheetah’s scat is used to find out what prey they eat by analyzing the hair inside it and also to determine the stress levels of cheetahs by measuring cortisol levels. Since many resident cheetahs have gastritis or other digestive problems that may be related to stress (vehicles and humans close by), the folks here at CCF are trying to find out what to do against it. We found one big pile of poop and got it into our collection bags.

Our little trio then went to a nice little nature trail and spread Bushblok mulch on it. All we had to do was disperse it from the piles that were waiting for us. However, that’s not quite as easy a job as it may seem to be. It is pretty exhausting, but we got about 200 metres worth of path done in less than two hours. I guess that was pretty fast.

The others are leaving for Etosha after lunch. This means I will be the only volunteer here for the rest of the day and tomorrow. I hope there’s not too much to do since I haven’t gotten around to doing my studies yet.