Finished the cub’s pen extension

So today we finally did it – after working some more on the pen in the afternoons on Tuesday as well as today, after lots of digging, placing stones, raking and shoveling sand, weaving acacia branches into the wire fence and removing the one that separated the two enclosures. The cubs were subsequently let out… but didn’t show any interest in the extended area. I so expected this to happen. However, this doesn’t mean that all of our work was for nothing – later that evening Bruce approached us and told us they had finally gone exploring the extension, and that they were happy. So we were happy, too. ๐Ÿ˜€


Tuesday started with another Cheetah Run I attended. The others sure hate me for this, but after all, I’m doing it for a good cause. The videos I shoot (I hardly make any pictures) I all need for that little video project. We finished the first part on Sunday (for which I got called a workaholic), and while we’re still waiting for a first “public” screening among staff and volunteers, I’m sure they’ll like it. Even I am fairly happy with it, despite being a perfectionist ๐Ÿ˜‰

We then helped at the goat kraal, and after that interviewed Rhianna, an aspiring vet student. It was the longest and – so far – funniest interview we did so far, with lots and lots of outtakes. We did, however, get nice material, too, so it wasn’t just for fun, mind you!

Today started similarly – another Cheetah Run, but this time without people. They simply were too late, not arriving until about 8:50. By that time the cheetahs are not run anymore because the growing heat forces them to rest longer, resulting in a significantly shorter run or, even worse, no run at all. Instead of disassembling our equipment and bringing everything back to the clinic Matt and Kate gave them a little run, but it wasn’t nearly as nice as it usually is, partly because it was very short and because Little C looked at us and walked away instead of chasing the lure. What a lazy cheetah… ๐Ÿ˜‰

We then went to feed our cats, which resulted in even more video material. I’m running low on storage here, my four 16 GB SD cards are full to the brim. I’m glad I brought my laptop so I am able to copy things to it. Too bad I’m running out of space there, too… but then again, I’ve got only one week to go, which makes me sad.

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I’ve gone crazy!

No worries there, crazy is merely a more extreme state of mind for me, nothing to be worried about. The cause is scanning… page after page, and on an old-fashioned flat-bed scanner. Constantly repeating all your movements may cause brain damage. Or at least make you wish you had lots of hard work to do. I scanned all morning long and got several zoos done, so I think I’m getting better at it. Still, a slot-in scanner would be nifty.

I missed a Cheetah Run this morning, just like yesterday. What a pity.

After lunch (yummy sausages) we got a slightly more intense task to do: the girl’s pen had to have any plants (mostly grass) removed from around the fences. The reason for this is that if a fire should start inside the enclosure the fence won’t be damaged. This, on the one hand, makes sure the cheetahs can’t escape once the fire’s extinguished, but also that the fences don’t have to be repaired of even replaced – an expensive endeavour for a donation-financed organisation such as the CCF.

This went on for hours, and I must say I’m quite exhausted today. When we were ย finally done a good 150 metres of fence area had been cleared, so we did a pretty nice job. I’m even too tired to shower now, but since I’ll be cleaning the goat pens tomorrow I don’t think that’ll be a problem… ehem. I’ll most likely still clean my feet, but that’s it for today.

Hopefully I’ll get to see the girls run tomorrow – they did that quite often last year, but nowadays they’re more interested in hanging around the farthest corner of the pen since that’s where the Wild Boys are most likely to be seen, so the staff won’t bother with runs.

Sandy also appears to be in heat – she magically attracts the boys in the pen on the other side of the road and we could watch her roll and rub against the ground for quite some time yesterday during our mini-safari. Too bad cheetah breeding is forbidden in Namibia – I bet her cubs would look very cute! ๐Ÿ˜€

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