T+384 hours: Cheetah pickup!

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Wednesday certainly was a busy day, but all in all, I didn’t do too much stuff worth noting. In the morning, I was busy doing the observations for my research project, and the rest of the day I spent analyzing and entering the data I gathered into an Excel worksheet. I also got a little more work done on the Waterhole Count, but I’m afraid I wasn’t a great help so far.

Some of the other volunteers already had the chance to pick up a female cheetah last Tuesday. Surprisingly, I was told I could leave with Daniel, Kate and Liz in order to fetch two cheetahs a farmer reported he had caught. I didn’t have to think about it twice, of course, and that’s why for this morning I don’t have any data for my report. A shame, isn’t it? 😉

The two spotted ones turned out to be cubs of around nine months of age, one male and a female. They had been fed properly and were nicely hydrated as well, but they had been caught a fair while ago. Reportedly, the farmer tried to relocate the two, but they kept coming back to his farm, probably because they had lost their mother. For lack of experience they decided to hunt sheep, and understandably the farmer didn’t tolerate this behaviour, so he caught them, but instead of shooting them he called the CCF and we went all the way from Otjiwarongo to Okahandja (about 200kms if I had to guess) and back. The gate to their enclosure was too small for our box so we had to remove the fence in order to get through, but it was well worth it.

Since they are so young they’ll have to become resident cheetahs because they wouldn’t be able to survive in the wild since they never learned how to hunt (except maybe sheep). I suggested to name the female cheetah Kisa (Suahili for “story”), but I’m not sure whether they already decided on names for the two. We did a workup on the two as well, and as I mentioned they turned out to be nicely hydrated and healthy.

I’m scheduled to do the camera checks together with Rob tomorrow, and there’ll be a night game count as well. I’m curious about the latter! 🙂

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