T+336 hours: Even more purring – and work!

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Monday has not been very busy, but I’ve been tired most of the day. I now get up at 6:30 in the morning, get ready and then climb the CCF’s water towers. From there, I have a great view over the area, but what interests me most is the Hogwarts pen with Ron, Harry and Hermione in it as well as the enclosures next to it (Little C’s and Chewbaaka’s).

I’m conducting research concerning the cheetah’s interactions as well as their movement patterns. While I’m not always able to see every cheetah, I try to find out what each and every cat is doing over a period of two hours. I alternate between location tracking and interaction recording every 30 minutes, hoping this gives me a general idea about how much they interact at specific times with specific individuals. Little C seems to be the most playful of all of them (he is the youngest one, though) and in the morning he will often run along the fence and the trio on the other side will follow. In the evenings, there’s usually nothing too interesting to see, most of the time all cats lazy around, cuddle and groom themselves or each other.

It is rather exhausting, though, because you don’t really get too much sleep, but have to stay perfectly awake for the time you’re watching the cats. I have already got a few nice movement patterns, though, and the time spent was definitely worth it. Laurie wants to find out what distances the cheetahs walk in the mornings, and since I will have a GPS map ready by tomorrow evening, I’m hoping that’ll be easy to find out.

Later that day we got to see two cubs. If I remember correctly, they are about four months old. N’dungu (clever) and Shinga (yellow) are quite cute, but rather hissy. They were shown to us by Kelly, the “cubby mommy”. Unfortunately, she left today. I never really got to say Goodbye to her, so if you read this – getting to know you was very nice, you obviously made a difference here. We all kind of missed you at dinner.

Today was a very special day- I got to meet Little C (again)! I just can’t get enough of this cute little guy! He was posing while we tried to take photos, but never seemed to look at the camera when we wanted him to. He gave my cheek a wet nosebump twice, though. He seemed to like me scratching his ears a lot, his rumbling purr definitely gave a hint.

I hope I’ll be able to meet him again, maybe they’ll let me if I ask nicely 🙂