Africa, Countries

Cheetah’s day

It comes around swiftly at this time of year… cheetah’s day.

And on this day which is designated to the big cat, my thoughts naturally turn to Thandie and her cubs.

Not sure how much Santie figures in animal reserves.

But I’m hoping in this season of giving her little ones get spoiled.

It’ll be four years in a couple of months since I left Thandie mothering her new-borns.

In the Mount Cambedoo Reserve in Graaf-Reinet in the Eastern Cape in South Africa.

Power Ranger

Made it: With Hewart and Reserve owner Iain

Of course being such speedsters, they can hit 70mph in just three seconds, cheetahs can be hard to keep up with.

And that’s where rangers come in.

Zimbabwean Hewart uses guile and knowledge of Thandie’s movement and electronic equipment.

To track down the majestic pussycat to her shelter under a tree.

Until we are looking in awe at this wonderful specimen in her natural lair, ensuring that we don’t venture too closely.

Protective animals and their young, and all that.

And more so as their men folk don’t tend to stick around.

Male cheetahs prefer to live in a band of brothers known as a coalition.

While it may be difficult to spot a cheetah, if you do it’s easy enough to identify the spots on the big cats.

Laying a Marker

Cloak and dagger: With Thandie

The chita, from the Hindi word ‘chita’ or ‘the spotted one’, they have between 2,000 and 3,000 such markings.

Now every day is worth celebrating the cheetah, I think we’d all agree, but why this day?

Well, we have Dr Laurie Marker who founded the Cheetah Conservation Fund in 1991 to thank.

In 2010, she designated today, December 4th, as International Cheetah Day choosing it after the birthday of a cheetah named Khayam.

Save our cheetahs

Spot her: Thandie

Dr Marker trained this cheetah for her first research project on teaching captive-born cheetahs to hunt.

When she reintroduced Khayam to the wild, she realised how endangered the cheetahs were becoming.

With less than 8,000 cheetahs living in the wild, a 50 percent decline in the last four decades, and still being hunted for fur.

All good reason to celebrate Cheetah’s day, and we’re sure you’ll be spoiled Thandie.





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