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Monday, 28 December 2009

NamibRand Boys - update as of 27/Dec


We've had some interesting field reports this week, with the boys successfully hunting a springbok and then attempting to hunt a pair of ostriches (see below).
23/12/2009 - 07:15 all 5 walking (L-K-C-M-R) towards WP, at 07:45 Lindt starts jogging and 1 minute later he starts running towards springboks, the others following, the first 2 males get an adult springbok and pull it down, all 5 feeding on it; 08:45 first 2 males get up, all 5 grooming to clean the face and lye down again
24/12/2009 - 09:40 all 5 lying under Boscia tree, then 3 ostriches walking by and all 5 get up and stare at them, Mushara decides to run for them, all 5 hunt male ostrich which escapes, only Mushara follows the other change to female ostrich, Mushara also joins, they reach female ostrich but are not able to pull it down, so they give up
24/12/2009 - 20:00 Keerweder waterhole; one of the cheetahs apparently intended to scent-mark at the Keerweder guesthouse and showed aggression? (raised hackles) when it observed humans there; instead it scent-marked at the dead tree at the waterhole
Thank you Ann, Mike, and Christine for the log.
Rob

Cheetah and Dog sponsors

We sent all cheetah and dog updates last week. Please contact us if you didn’t receive yours, since several e-mails came back undelivered.

 

With best wishes for the New Year,

 

Patricia

 

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Keepers' Notes - Klein

Klein, Merlot’s coalition mate, has been getting most of the attention lately due to his skin issues.  But I think it is important to note how supportive Merlot has been to Klein during this whole ordeal.  For the first time in over a year, I heard Merlot purring while he was licking Klein’s face!  It has always surprised me that although Klein is a good 5kg heavier than Merlot, Merlot is the dominant male, then to hear Merlot of all cats to purr… I was speechless!  Also, during this whole treatment course Klein has been receiving extra treats (with medication hidden ‘cleverley’ inside) and instead of pushing Klein aside to steal the treats for himself, Merlot has stayed in the back, sitting patiently, waiting for his meal.  Even at the end of the day when he has been fed, and Klein needs his afternoon dose of meds, Merlot still accompanies Klein to the fence, sits in the back, and walks away with him once the meds have been administered.  Due to this continual support for his coalition mate, the keepers have been taking extra treats to give to Merlot as well, as a way of thanking Merlot for being such a good friend to Klein.

Hoping everyone is enjoying the Holiday Season, and please remember to make a donation so we can meet our year-end challenge. We only have ten days left!

Kate

Thursday, 24 December 2009

NamibRand female WITH A CUB! update as of 23/Dec

Christine and Lars of N/a'an ku sê have had a very good sighting of the female yesterday and have confirmed that she is with a 6-8 month old cub!  

Nils also found the five boys on a fresh oryx kill just over 1 km from her back on Dec. 17th (see map).  Thanks also to Nils, the map now has a great deal more detail, with roads, waterholes and local features added.

She is remaining in the same area close to the mountains, and about 9 km NNE of Park HQ.

Rob

 

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

 

Cheetah Keeper's Notes

It’s easy to see why Cruise is so well loved with his never-ending range of vocalizations.  I love listening to Cruise and Omdillo converse through the fence line, they sound like big house cats… until they realize a human is listening then it is back to growling and slapping the fence!

Since the other four boys have been running for their food, Cruise has also started his own tradition of ‘trotting’ for his.  He doesn’t quite chase the car the entire length of the pen, but for an old man, he sure does move fairly well.  One of his favourite things to do is run half way down the fence line before making a quick detour over to a tree that he marks while watching the car continue along the other side of the pen.  He has his timing down almost perfectly!  By the time the car has come to its stop, Cruise has already beat us to the gate and continues to mew for his food!  Although, there are the times when his favourite spot to mark is a pole right by the entrance gate, and if you are not careful, ‘The Cruise Man’ could also mark you.

Kate

 

Friday, 18 December 2009

NamibRand Cheetahs - update as of 15/Dec

I'm afraid that with the Christmas break upon us we have no field data for the past week, but the satellite data is pretty comprehensive.  The boys are nowhere near the newly re-arrived female, but instead are remaining close to Park HQ.

 

Rob

 

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

NamibRand female cheetah - update as of 16/Dec - Great News!

I have very good news regarding our female's latest movements.  At some point between the evening of Dec. 7th and the afternoon of Dec. 10th she crossed back into the NamibRand Reserve and as of this morning is approximately 2 km inside the reserve boundary!

 

It appears that she may have used the same route that the boys once used to exit the reserve.  I have included last week's data alongside this week's so that you can see both halves of the picture.   She originally exited the reserve along the South-East boundary during early April 2009.   I am very happy to see her back and hope she finds conditions to her liking this time and remains there.  

 

Rob

 

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

First artificial insemination on Anatolian

Just want to let you know that we had the first artificial insemination (AI) with Zor’s sperm last week!

We bred our Anatolian female Uschi to Zor’s sperm using surgical insemination on the 19th and 20th of November. Zor’s sperm was donated by the Rare Breeds Ranch in the US. Everything went smoothly, so we are hoping for the best. We do have a pregnancy test for dogs and should have access to an ultrasound to test for the success of the breeding.

We will keep you posted.
Take care,
Anne – Genetics Lab







Thursday, 3 December 2009

NamibRand Cheetahs caught on camera!

A visitor to NamibRand sent us these beautiful pictures of the five boys on
a kill site of a female springbok in NamibRand. Thanks, Aaron!

Happy Holidays to everyone,

Patricia

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Update from NamibRand - update as of 25/Nov



Hi all, and Happy Thanksgiving to our US followers!

Data on the five males at NamibRand has been a little sparse of late, but it's certainly enough to see that they are remaining in the same area. Every few days they range out, probably to hunt, although we have no confirmed kills since the giraffe on the 4th.  Early yesterday morning they revisited the guest house and scent-marked the wall while carefully avoiding the security light and it's motion sensor.  

The female, in the meantime, is currently about 7.5km from the reserve boundary in the same area as the last few weeks.  She is currently moving south, but that may be just a brief foray.  She has twice been within 2 km of the C19, but is not straying far.

Rob

Cheetah Water in Swedenn from Borås Djurpark

Here is a great example of how zoos around the world are getting creative to support conservation. Borås Djurpark in Sweden is selling “Cheetah Water”, which in addition to income from cooperation with the local Lions Club and a CCF ‘money box’, have just raised over EUR$5,000 for CCF.

These images are from Borås’ booth in Gothenburg which is the the biggest Tourist exhibition in Scandinavia.

We at CCF are so grateful to all the zoos that have supported our work throughout the years.

Patricia

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

HI all –

I hope that you all have a very Happy Thanksgiving. We just got our international course participants to CCF today after spending 2 days in Windhoek – they are a really great group and think that the course will be good.

All the best and have a great DAY tomorrow. I’m going to try to make a Namibian rendition of Thanksgiving!

Laurie

Sunday, 22 November 2009

News from Namibia: a cheetah release, courses, etc.

We just released the female that came in the week I got home a couple of
weeks ago.  She had two cubs about a year old.  She had a broken rear toe
and a broken canine tooth.  We had her toe amputated and took her to the
dentist.  She looked great when we released her. She and the cubs put on
weight and we feel really good about her freedom.  It's calving time for the
wildlife, so there are hartebeest an oryx calves everywhere, so there is
plenty of game for them.  Sjaak from Beeske Bergen was here and his wife
Christine with a film crew, so they got to film it. Also there was a German
film crew here and filmed it too. 

We worked on Klein on Tuesday as well – he has what we think is a fungal
growth on his left front and rear legs.  So, we took scraping and biopsy and
won't know for ~ 2 weeks, as it takes that long to run the culture.

We did do an A-I on Uschi yesterday and again today.  It's a surgical
technique where you put the thawed sperm into the horns of the uterus. 

I head down today to begin our international course – there will be ~20
professional conservation biologists coming from 8 cheetah range countries. 
So, we have been very busy on all that.

I will be very hectic with this course going forward.  I know that there is
a lot still to do to reach our year end goal,

Thanks!!!!

Laurie

Friday, 20 November 2009

NamibRand female cheetah - update as of 18/11

Just a quick update on the wild female at NamibRand.  She seems to be settling down into her new area, with no further westward movement.  The area she is in is fairly flat, although there are mountainous ridges to her immediate south, and the substantial park boundary to the east.

 

All the cheetahs are doing well, only we have not received many reports other than their location. We will post as soon as we get something more.

 

Patricia

Friday, 6 November 2009

Back in Namibia! From Laurie

Have been home from my US travels a bit over a week now. I really loved seeing everyone in the US! It’s been really busy here since being home, always busy when I’m around. After being a way for nearly 2 months there is a lot to catch up on here in Namibia. Bruce was glad to see me as were Chewbaaka and the three cubs, Soraya, Phoenix and Quasar. The 4 orphan cubs that came in July (photo) have grown a lot and have settled into their orphan life OK. They get regular attention and care, however it still makes me so sad when I see them, but I am glad that we were able to save them after their mother was reported dead.

Anne our geneticist and Leigh my assistant have helped keep all in order while I was away and have filled me in on all research and admin. activities. In addition to our planning our next international Conservation Biology course which will be conducted for a month from the 22nd of Nov.

I have been unpacking, finally got most done, and then trying to catch up on thank you letters to people who helped make my trip a success, those who planned fundraising events and those who came to the events, so a lot of time on the computer.

We had 3 cheetahs come in a few days ago (Gail and Kate went to pick them up), so we spent the past 3 days doing workups (photo). It was an older female with 2 year old cubs (a male and female). The female had a broken rear toe which we had to amputate, our vet friend, Minty, was visiting from Windhoek and did this operation yesterday morning. This female will need to go to the dentist we hope later this week. The cubs look good.

All other animals look OK. Finn and Isha, my dogs, are happy to have me home. Finn has been working daily on scat training.

At least one of our dogs in the goat yard is coming into heat so we are planning for an A-I to be conducted in the next week. The milk goats are still giving good milk and the cheese is still really good. Amy and Johannes have helped keep the goats and goat yard in good condition, they dipped all the goats and sheep this week - a big mornings job. The horse dentist will come next week to work on the horses teeth, she waited until I was back home.

We continue to be busy in our education center. There have been school groups here constantly and more coming during this next month. Gebs stays really busy with the students, while Gabriel, Priscilla, Stephen and James take care of tour groups

We have another group of EarthWatchers coming today. Matti and Lily, a master's student from Holland will be very busy in the next couple weeks collecting data for Lily's project - they will be surveying the habitat around the play trees where we set our camera traps.

Donna Coe a CCF trustee from Oregon is here again, she was here last year when Phoenix, Quasar and Soraya were tiny cubs. She has been helping me on the computer in between helping feed cheetahs and collecting scat! And Karin, a Trustee from Beekse Bergen Safaripark in Holland is also here as volunteer, along with several students who have been here while I was away including Jordon from U. of Washington in Seattle, who is working on getting our fecal hormone lab up and running. Our 1st assays look really good. Brianna is here as a Global Graduate, she has been helpful to Cheri, our vet tech in the clinic, with all these work ups last week.

Glenn and Natalie arrived this weekend from New Zealand. Glenn will be our new Operations Director.

Laurie

Friday, 23 October 2009

NamibRand Cheetah Boys - update as of 20/Oct

As some of you will be aware, there was a sighting of a group of cheetahs south of NRNR on October 16th.  Unfortunately we do not have any satellite data from that time, but as you can see from the wide area map that I've included (with the approximate location of the sighting marked), it seems unlikely that it was our group.

On the regular map I have again distinguished between visual and satellite points with the latter in yellow.

Selma, tracking in the field, has the following to report:

They are still doing well and still moving in the same area. These past few days they have not been at Wolwedans side (zebra dam); they tend to be moving between Draaihoek and Keerweder. On Tuesday they we saw them walking toward Ysterkop from Bushman koppie side. Mushara in front followed by Lindt, Cadbury, Ra and Kia at the back. They don't look full nor empty but I reckon they are out hunting. 

Rob

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

CCF had a BIG weekend in Chicago

The Board of Directors, Trustees and staff of CCF USA spent this weekend in Chicago (a year ago we met in Washington, DC, and the year prior, in New York). Unfortunately we were unable to visit much of this great city, but were happy to enjoy the warmth and hospitality of our very dynamic Chicago Chapter and volunteers. We were also thrilled to have as guests two of our CCF UK Trustees who for the first time were able to join us in the US.

On Friday, our Chapter Chair, Jayne Bazos, hosted us at an informal get together to welcome all of us and get everyone to meet one another. Karin Schwartz, who has worked with cheetahs for many years, surprised us with her beautiful piano playing! If we hadn’t had to start our meetings early on Saturday, we probably would have stayed there all night because we were having so much fun putting faces behind the names of people we work with all the time!

Saturday a long but productive day. Our CCF USA Board met in the morning to discuss ways in which to raise more funds to support CCF’s programs in Namibia and every country where there are still cheetahs. New Trustees were elected at that meeting and we will be announcing their names soon. I can tell you now that each one of them is a passionate cheetah supporter and friend. Stayed tuned to our web site and blog to learn who they are. In the afternoon, staff and trustees joined in for discussions about the future. We all came back home with homework as the different focus groups have to prepare a proposal for various areas that aim at helping our fast-growing organization to succeed. Dr. Stephen O’Brian, CCF USA’s Chairman of the Board (photo left, giving us directives for the breakout sessions), did a fantastic job moderating and keeping us all focused on the matters that matter.

After a long day, we all enjoyed a delicious Lebanese dinner at a local restaurant, kindly hosted by one of our Board members, and then it was back to work on Sunday morning. We are so grateful to the DuPuis family, long-time cheetah friends, who allowed us to hold our sessions at the beautiful DuPuis Group offices in downtown Chicago. They certainly gave us the royal treatment and made sure we did not go hungry!

Our Sunday sessions lasted only ½ day since everyone had to get ready for the Gala (of course Chapter and volunteers worked most of the day getting everything ready at the venue). The gala was held at the beautiful building that houses the Newberry Library. I read on a plaque that the building was the only one in the path of the great fire of 1871 that did not burn! I was glad to learn this because the building is such a beautiful architectural piece.

The Chicago Chapter did a tremendous job with the Gala. Volunteers from the Brookfield Zoo (photo, with our Chairman and Dr. Marker) were working tirelessly to ensure that our guests were enjoying themselves and sharing information about CCF’s work with videos being played around the room. Guests also had a chance to view videos of the Chicago Run for the Cheetah event held last April. There was a great display of cheetah and African merchandise (photo below), from jewelry to tees to pillows and purring cheetahs, including Dr. O’Brien’s book, Tears of the Cheetah. And the silent auction was so impressive with over 50 items donated by so many people and businesses that I wish I could list them all. There was beautiful cheetah art, gift certificates, tapestries, and even a scooter!


About 150 guests gasped almost in unison when a one-year-old cheetah, Roe, and a one-year-old dog, Riese, entered the room to join our Executive Director, Dr. Laurie Marker, with their handlers Keith and Elissa. Roe and Riese are educational ambassadors who often travel with Jack Hanna of the Columbus Zoo. They help Jack explain to his audiences how Anatolian Shepherds such as Riese are being used by CCF in Namibia as Livestock Guarding Dogs to help avoid human-predator conflict and thus save cheetahs. A slide show of beautiful cheetah photos by photographer Larry Boutman, which ran throughout the evening, seemed to awaken Roe’s interest, especially when a running Thomson gazelle was shown. No one there could help giggling when seeing Roe’s reaction to the photo, which was quite a surprise to us since Roe is a captive-born cheetah who has never hunted.

Laurie talked about cheetahs and explained the threats that Roe’s wild relatives face today. She explained what CCF is doing to ensure the long-term survival of the cheetah. With Roe’s constant (and loud) purring in the background, gala guests learned from Laurie that the cheetah could be gone in just 20 years if we –and ‘we’ means everyone—don’t do anything to prevent such stark future. Attendees learned that CCF’s programs are effective because they are restoring cheetah habitat, and because they provide people who share the land with cheetahs with the necessary knowledge and tools (such as the dogs) to avoid conflict with this magnificent predator. None of this would happen without events like this gala that help us raise awareness and funding to continue with our work. Everyone who attended the gala played an important role in CCF’s efforts.

Our immense thanks to our Board, Trustees, Chapter members and volunteers who work so hard and yet took the time out of their busy lives to make this weekend so productive, fun, and successful.

Patricia Tricorache

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

NamibRand cheetahs update - 18/10/09; 20/10/09

Not much information for the boys, but they are still doing well and still moving in the same area. These past few days they have not been at Wolwedans side (zebra dam); they tend to be moving between Draaihoek and Keerweder. I have not been able to confirm if it was them that were seen on the Southern part of the Reserve (outside the reserve border) on Friday night but I have sent an email to the Toktokkie manager with few questions for confirmation, I will keep you posted.

I will be in touch soon!

Kind regards and best wishes, – Selma

Sunday, 18 October 2009

NamibRand update - Oct. 17, 2009

It has been a long day looking for the five males. We received a report that someone had seen the five cheetahs along the C27 road south of the Reserve last night next to the Tok Tokkie & NaDEET gate. We searched around Keerweder for the radio signals today morning and we could not find them. We went tracking up to the area were they were seen, further on the main road to Maltahöhe but we could not find spoors nor signals. I decided to come back since I could not get any signals and search on the northern part of the Reserve which was Draaihoek side.

After a long search, we got our signals near Porcupine waterhole. I did not expect it since I thought it was too far south where they were seen last night. We walked up the hill away from the road for good sighting and we saw one of them seating up in the Acacia tree looking at us and observing the surrounding area. The others were lying down undisturbed (raised their heads up and went back), he lied back after several minutes and that was the last sighting for them.

I have no idea if it was the boys that someone saw last night (around 20h00), as we could not find any tracks in the area. If it was our five males, then this means they have walked over ~40 km from where they were seen to where we found them in one night (last night). We will try to find out more, possibly from the person who saw them and let you posted.

I will be in touch for the update!

Thanks, – Selma

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Raising Awareness

We have just entered our blog in www.BlogActionDay.org. Blog Action Day is an annual event that unites the world's bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day. Our aim is to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion. Their purpose is to create a discussion.

This year’s topic is climate change and how it affects everyone. As an organization concerned with cheetah conservation, I will talk about Africa, where, as in many other places around the world, desertification –caused either because of human activities or climate change, is affecting everyone’s life. Specifically, desertification in cheetah-range countries is affecting the habitat of animals that depend on grazing for survival. Thus, animals that cheetah preys on are facing more and more difficulties finding grasslands where they can feed.

Once problem with desertification in Namibia, our home base, is the proliferation of invasive thorn bush. At CCF we have turned this issue into an opportunity by harvesting this invasive thorn bush and turning it into a clean-fuel burning log called Bushblok. To learn about Bushblok visit http://www.cheetah.org/?nd=ccf_bush_project.

Thanks to the folks at BlogActionDay.org for offering a forum where everyone can discuss important issues!

All the best,

Patricia

Monday, 5 October 2009

NamibRand report: the cheetah boys are back. 05/10/09

The male have visited the guesthouse today morning and according to Ann they were marking (spraying/ urinating) around the house. It has been a while since they last visited the house (three weeks) and it seems like they are back again. She shouted at them to scare them off and they run away. Ra seems to have a limp again, he was seen limping and on his own without the rest of the group on Saturday by Ann and Mike Scott near the cheetah pen. As I observed him today he was still limping, he was walking in a normal way in the morning but late in the afternoon, I noticed that he was limping. He seems to be walking well and start limping for several minutes. The limping is not that bad but he walks behind others and they seem to be stopping for several times to wait for him.

I was able to observe them for several hours today in the morning and in the afternoon. They haven’t been up to something (hunting) although their stomachs look almost empty or maybe it is because there was not much game in their way. They have tried stalking the hartebeest herd late in the afternoon but they were unsuccessful, the hartebeest became aware of their presence and ran away. We left them walking toward Keerweder waterhole, just shortly after the sun set. I reckon they will hunt tonight or early tomorrow morning.

That was all for today, I will keep a look out on Ra limp and keep you posted.

Thanks,

Selma

Monday, 28 September 2009

Choose No Beating Around the Bush: Help the Cheetah Win!

The Cheetah Conservation Fund's Bush Project has been chosen as one of 12 finalists for World Challenge 2009, a global initiative of BBC World News and Newsweek, in association with Shell, that highlights projects showing enterprise and innovation at the grassroots level.

On Oct. 3 and 4, CCF's Bush Project (which makes Bushblok, a clean-burning fuel log made from the invasive acacia bush that is overrunning the cheetah's natural habitat) will be featured in a half-hour segment on BBC World News. To find the broadcast time for your area, check BBC World News' schedule at www.bbcworldnews.com/Pages/Schedules.aspx.

To learn more about how Bush Project restores habitat, produces an alternative, clean-burning source of fuel, and provides jobs, please visit www.cheetah.org/?nd=ccf_bush_project

The winner of the challenge is selected by popular online vote (one vote per email address). Voting opens on Monday, Sept. 28, and closes Nov. 13.

Vote for the Bush Project at www.theworldchallenge.co.uk and ask others to do the same.

Here is how you can help:

- Teachers: Encourage students and other teachers to vote.

- Parents: share the challenge with the school systems (or teachers) their children are part of.

Every vote is important because a vote for CCF is a vote for the Cheetah.

Share on: Facebook Twitter

Thank you for your support!





Thursday, 24 September 2009

NamibRand Male Cheetahs - Update 24/09/09

The five males are doing well and in good health. Still around Keerweder but it seems like they have decided not to visit the guest house anymore, this week they have not been there. From today’s observation, they are on Wolwedans side. They have hunted a young oryx (I have not measured the horn length or width, because the boys were still in the bush were the carcass was but it looks young) today late in the morning I guess.

I found the carcass fresh but fully eaten with only the head, legs and ribs were left. The end of the ribs was chewed as usual. I found Lindt lying in the bush next to the kill while the others were lying in another bush 100 m away from the kill site, but the others joined him later as I drove next to them. The poor things were full and found it difficult to walk as they walked from the bush where they were resting to the kill site.

That was all for today, I will be in touch for the update!

Regards,

Selma

PS – The attached map includes a week and a half worth of data for the boys. As for the female, she is moving around quite a bit at the moment and generally in a southern direction but still remaining on Zaries.

Monday, 14 September 2009

About the new cubs

I thought I’d share with you how the newest arrivals, Phil, Tony, Polly and Mischief, who came to CCF last month, as written by my colleague Leigh Whelpton:


We recently received a phone call from a farmer down South.  He said that a female cheetah got caught in his fence and that she had died despite the farmer’s best efforts to save her.  He called us at the Cheetah Conservation Fund because this cheetah had a collar and an ear tag.  We were able to identify which female cheetah they had on their farm because we had released her nearby a year or so before, and she had a GPS collar on which had been telling us where she went. 

We thought that this particular female cheetah had cubs because she had stayed in one place for quite a few days, which usually means that a cheetah is giving birth.  This thought was proven to be correct because one of the farm workers had seen cubs nearby the female cheetah.  He said that when he came near they had scampered off into the bush.  We knew that if we didn’t take action the cubs would die, so two CCF staff members took down a trap cage and waited patiently until all four cubs finally went into the cage. 

Once they had all of the cubs they drove back to the Cheetah Conservation Fund and we gave each cub a medical checkup.  We determined whether they were boys or girls, vaccinated them, gave them fluids, took blood samples, and put in a transponder microchip so that each one would always have a unique identification.  They were not happy to have lost their mother, and were hissing, spitting, and snarling at us.  Also, all four cubs were completely covered in burrs!!  Poor little things!!  One of the cubs needed stitches, but other than that they all looked like they were in very good health. 

During their check-ups, we found out that we have three boys and one girl, all about three months old.  They all weigh about 4.5 to 5 kilograms (10 to 11 pounds), and are slightly bigger than a housecat.  We are very fortunate to have been able to save the lives of these little guys, and it is all thanks to the hard work and dedication of our amazing team of staff and volunteers!!


All four are growing fast and happy. Please consider sponsoring these beautiful cubs. Visit our web site, www.cheetah.org, How You Can Help.

Patricia

Friday, 4 September 2009

The NamibRand male cheetahs - update to 04/09/09

The boys are still moving on their route which is between Draaihoek, Keerweder and Wolwedans (Zebra dam). According to the satellite collar upload, now they are spending much time on Wolwedans side than at the Old cheetah pen (Keerweder), although they are still visiting the pen and mark it whenever they are around it.

I was lucky today; I found their kill (one of the objective for my project) that they made in the morning I guess. They have hunted an adult female springbok. We found a fresh carcass in the afternoon when I was tracking them. The carcass is fully consumed (only bones left), with the end soft bones of the ribs chewed. They were still in the same area but some few metres away from the kill site. All resting, full of meat and lazy as well, we could only see their heads rising up and down.

That was all for today, I will be in touch for more updates on these boys.

A good weekend to all……

 

Thanks,

Selma

Thursday, 3 September 2009

NamibRand Female Cheetah update - as of 2/Sept

There's no change with regards to the female.  She is still on Zaries and still in the same general area.  In the past 6 days she has walked in a loop and ended up more or less where she started.

Rob

NamibRand Boys - map and update as of 2/Sept

The satellite collar upload worked normally this week and we have good data for the last nine days.  I'm including a map covering the period from August 26th - September 2nd to take advantage to all of the new data.

While they seem to be remaining in the same general area, the boys are spending less time in the vicinity of the old pens.  

Rob

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

NamibRand male cheetahs: 29/08; 30/08; 01/09; 02/09

Well, not much information about the boys as I have not been able to spend much time with them the past few weeks to observe their behaviour or daily activities. Although I have not been able to find their kills, I am sure they are hunting regularly and this is what we must be worried about if they are hunting or not. Still wondering in the same area, they were resting in the Boscia tree between the cheetah pen and the road from Keerweder to the main road when we saw them in the afternoon. Kia was sitting up very observant while the others were lying down relaxed and undisturbed.

They have not marked the guest house this week, although two of them made a turn at the house yesterday. This time they did not mark (urinate or defecate) on the stoep or wall, they just walked past and sniffed around. We have set up two crushed chilli bag on the inside of the fence next to the guest house and applied some lemon juice on the wall and poles just to see if we can get them away from the place.

That is all for today. Thanks,

Selma

Saturday, 29 August 2009

NamibRand Cheetahs - update as of 28/August

The boys are doing well and still wondering around Keerweder area marking the guest house occasionally. They have been near Keerweder pan (on Wolwedans side of the road) yesterday when Florian from N/a'an ku sê tracked them. They hunted a male springbok yesterday next to the pan and they have fed well. Florian and his guest were lucky enough to see the males taking over (catching) a springbok. According to the data I got from him, Ra seems to be left walking behind after a kill but there was no report that he was limping.

That’s all for now, I will keep you posted for the update…

Thanks,

Selma

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

NamibRand Boys - tracking problems for lack of vehicles

Just to let you all know that you have not received news from us because I
have not being able to track the boys last week and this week because we
have the problem with the vehicles. We only have one vehicle in the reserve;
the others are at the garages, so it is quite hectic here. The boy's signals
are still around Keerweder, I have seen them on Saturday next to the pen but
since then I have n't been able to track them again. One of the vehicles
will be back today and hope by this week I will get some tracking for the
boys and email you a report.
 
With regards,
Selma

Friday, 21 August 2009

NambRand female - update as of 19/Aug

The female continues to move in a relatively small area on the farms of Zaries and Steinhof.  She is between 13-16 km from the reserve boundary.

 

Rob

 

Friday, 14 August 2009

cheetah release and Jeff Corwin visit

On Sunday, we trapped two wild male cheetahs who have been hanging around the CCF facilities, to put a GPS satellite collar on one and do a medical workup on both. I came to know these cheetahs at the beginning of 2008. I always used to see tracks, and then one day we saw these two males near the offices. We're not used to seeing wild cheetahs so close, so at first we thought they were two of our cheetahs that had escaped! They started scent-marking the walls of the office building as a territorial behavior. Because they were living so close to so many people, we had to be able to track them.
We set out cage traps on Thursday but left them open so the cats could pass through and get used to them. On Saturday night we activated the traps. The traps were so close to us that I actually heard the gates shut when the cats entered the traps in the middle of the night. Very early the next morning, I checked from a distance and could see that the gates were shut. We moved the cats into crates at about 9 a.m. and took them to the clinic for a biomedical and physical exam and to fit one with a GPS satellite collar. Part of the workup involves weighing. These were the heaviest cheetahs I have ever seen. One weighed 61 kilograms (134 lbs.) and the other was 51 kilos (112 lbs.)!
To monitor them as they woke up from the sedation, we kept them at the clinic until the next morning, Monday. That morning, we drove them out to their usual hunting grounds to release them. Jeff Corwin, who hosts shows on Animal Planet and the Food Network, and a film crew were on hand to film the cheetahs' release. The release went exactly as it should—the cats dashed out of the crate and into the open savannah. When we next tracked them, they had traveled about 10 km away. We were worried that they were leaving us, but they were spotted this morning in CCF's "big field" and seem to be heading back to CCF's headquarters again.
In the photo (courtesy of Drew Gagne), Jeff Corwin and I are on top of the crates as one of the cheetahs darts out.
By the way, the Jeff Corwin show that features CCF is called "100 Heartbeats" and will air on MSNBC on Nov. 22.
--Matti Nghikembua

The five males at NamibRand momentarily in trouble: 13/08/2009


Firstly, the boys hunted and have fed well. I have a very interesting day yesterday observing them feeding on adult female springbok carcass. It was next to the fence but there is no sign if they have used the fence to catch it as they have done it last month (chased the springbok into the pen fence). They were full and poor things can barely walk, found them resting in the tree near the main road on Wolwedans side. After some minutes of observing Mushara woke up, mark the trunk of the tree and then showed us where the kill was. He walked toward the bush and starts feeding on a springbok kill, it was fresh and half eaten. It was approximately 15 m in the bush from the tree were they were resting. Ra and Kia remained in the tree still resting while Cadbury and Lindt joined Mushara on the kill.

In the afternoon I got a report from Tok Tokkie guide who drove from Keerweder to Tok Tokkie that the boys are stuck in the corridor on the main road (between the two fence for Wolwedans and Toekoms) and they are trying to find their way, but they are being disturbed by the road users, stopping their cars and observing them. We tried getting them out by opening up the gates to let them find the way into the reserve and finally we succeeded, all five find their way back into the reserve. We left them walking toward Keerweder yesterday late afternoon, no sighting for them today but their signals are around the pen.

That’s all for now, I will be in touch soon…

Thanks, Selma

Thursday, 13 August 2009

NamibRand female cheetah - as of 10/August

The female is still active (as of three days ago when the most current point was recorded), and seems to be ranging slightly further afield.  As you'll see from the map, she is also shifting position somewhat westwards - still for the most part of Zaries, but also slipping over a couple of times onto the unnamed farm adjacent to it.

Rob

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Quick update from Namibia: radio collars, puppies and cubs.

We just released the two male cheetahs that live around CCF with new radio
collars – so this is very exciting, as they now have a satellite collar and
we can see where they are on a regular basis.  We have also been busy with a
litter of puppies we are raising now – they are just a month of age and very
cute. We did just get some new cubs – they are ~ 4 ½ months of age – 4 of
them, a female and 3 males – so cute, so scared, but coming around actually
quite well considering their ages. 

Laurie

P.S. The photo is of Mischief, one of the new cubs –he is quite a lively
little guy! Please consider sponsoring them. You can meet them on our web
site under How You Can Help.

Namibrand cheetahs update - 08/08 - 11/08/2009

Sorry for the delay the report is late. The boys are doing well and in good condition. They are still moving between Keerweder, Toskaan and Wolwedans (Zebra dam). They were up at Toskaan yesterday and today they are back on Wolwedans side. They hunted an adult male springbok on Saturday and it seems like they have hunted on Monday as well. They were seen by the staff drinking at Porcupine waterhole with light blood marks on their faces on Monday. They have visited  the guesthouse last night but they did not mark as they usually do.  

 

That’s all for today, I will be in touch soon.

 

Thanks – Selma

Saturday, 8 August 2009

NamibRand - the five male cheetahs doing great.

The five males are still moving around Keerweder, they are doing well and in good condition. They visited the guest house Thursday night of which one entered the camp through the small gate at the guest house (we are not sure if it was already open or not) and walked around the camp. No sighting for Shanti but I think she is around the Ysterkop. I was doing my spoor count sampling for my project on Thursday on the road from the main road to the ‘singing stones’ and I came across several tracks (fresh and old) of a lonely cheetah which have walked toward Keerweder from the koppie and back. I don’t think one of the boys will walk alone without the others.

 

After some effort of spraying Ammonia solution around the guest house where they use to mark, last night they were back again, marking on the ‘stoep’ and wall as usual. The strong smell of Ammonia solution did not make them stay away from the guest house at all.

 

According to Florian observation for the day, they are up at Boscia. He spent the day observing them climbing up trees and marking. It seems like he left them hunting. He will be observing them tomorrow again and I will send the data for the weekend on Monday.

 

I will be in touch soon.

 

Thanks – Selma    

 

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Rhinos, cheetahs, and a BBC Film crew!

HI – quick update on the last few days. We received two young female rhinos on Wednesday. They arrived just at dark and we drove them to the release site. These two females are 3 and 4 years of age. This release was a bit different than the males a couple days before. The one female took off like a bolt of lightning after being reversed from the sedative that kept her calm during her 3 hour trip from capture to CCF. In addition, the removal of the blindfold over her eyes and the ear plugs all made her senses come alive! So, she ran out of her crate fast into the dark and we could hear her for a couple minutes after release still running. The other female came out of her crate like a calm horse – she stepped out of the crate, walked a few feet, put up her head and sniffed, then walked slowly over to the nearest tree and just stopped. Over a half hour later, she had moved around and far enough from us that we could get the truck to our release area to pick up the crates again and drive away. Watching her, even in the dark, was such a peaceful experience. So, this week, these rhinos have given me one of my biggest thrills (the big males release) and one of the most tranquil moments – Rhinos are such a special animal. Over the last couple days, the big male (photo attached) has shown himself a couple times as our staff has been radio tracking them – he is magnificent! These are the last of the six rhinos that will be coming to CCF. We do, however, need to come up with ~$5,000 to support their transport to CCF. CCF is one of one a few sites selected by the Ministry of Environment for rhino relocation, and we are hoping that they can assist us in habitat restoration on our thickly bush encroached rhino sanctuary land.

On the cheetah front, we had to do minor surgery on one of the new cubs. Shoulder as we have been calling him, needed to have the gash on his shoulder re-stitched. We now hope that these stitches stay in better and that his shoulder heals. He and his siblings have accepted our care and are doing well, they are generally playful in our outside cub nursery area.

Chewbaaka is doing OK – from his enclosure he can see cubs and keeps a close watch on them.

We also have a BBC Film crew here for the next few days – they are filming our cheetahs running for a documentary called the Perfect Predator which will air in early 2010. We also have a group of 20 teachers from different areas of the US conducting their on-going education from Miami University in Ohio, USA. They are working on learning centered approaches in education. CCF and Miami University and Cincinnati Zoo have worked together for the past five years.

Laurie

Friday, 31 July 2009

NamibRand female - as of 31/July

The female is sticking to the same area as last week, returning most nights to the same (approx. 300x250 m) area.  

 

Rob

 

NamibRand Male Cheetahs and Shati Update as of 31/July

Behaviour patterns of the boys don't seem to be changing significantly as yet.  They continue to lurk close to the now empty pens where Rosy and Misty were, and to the farmhouse that is park HQ - regularly marking the outside of said farmhouse.  Some really good news though, is that on the 24th, they were seen in company of the very much alive Shanti!  Her collar has definitely stopped working, but she seems to be very healthy and is clearly looking after herself.

 

After some report from Sossousvlei Desert Lodge that they have seen six cheetahs instead of five at Toskaan, Florian saw Shanti today morning when he was driving from Aandstêr on the road to Keerweder (some few metres north of the pen). First he thought it was one of the boys but after searching and seeing the five boys on the other side of the road, it surprised him when he looked through the binocular and realised it was Shanti with her collar on. He tried scanning her but he did not pick up her signals which means the collar is not working. According to Florian, he clearly identified her and he is sure it was Shanti. It was impossible to take any photo as Shanti runs away in the long grass toward the koppie northwest of Keerweder. I think she has come up with the boys last night from Toskaan. Everyone at Keerweder was so excited to hear that she is probably alive.

 

The boys hunted around the 29th, but we were unable to confirm what, although there were a lot of oryx in the area.

 

Rob

 

Monday, 27 July 2009

Two more Rhinos Arrived at CCF Today

HI – we just got 2 more rhinos today – I was on the crate when one was released – a real adrenaline rush – boy are they strong and angry coming out of the box –Johan and Harry were both there – along with our vet friend Mark. 

 

So, two males – one ~ 12 (he is huge) and the other ~6yrs old. We have had guests already see them in the field!!!

 

And we have two more coming tomorrow – both females we hope!! 

 

More news tomorrow –

 

Laurie

Friday, 24 July 2009

From NamibRand: Shanti is alive! Updated on 24/07/2009

Good news to everyone, SHANTI is alive and in good health!  Ann’s theory of the boys going to Toskaan occasionally because they have picked up Shanti finally comes true. After some report from Sossousvlei Desert Lodge that they have seen six cheetahs instead of five at Toskaan, Florian saw Shanti today morning when he was driving from Aandstêr on the road to Keerweder (some few metres north of the pen. First he thought it was one of the boys but after searching and saw the five boys on the other side of the road, it surprised him when he looked through the binocular and realised it was Shanti with his collar on. He tried scanning her but he did not pick up her signals which means the collar is not working. According to Florian he clearly identified her and he is sure it was Shanti. It was impossible for her to take any photo as Shanti runs away in the long grass toward the koppie northwest of Keerweder. I think she has come up with the boys last night from Toskaan. Everyone at Keerweder was so excited to hear that she is probably alive.

 

Once again, the boys are back to Keerweder area from Toskaan where we left them yesterday and they marked the poles and a quiver tree near the guest house last night as usual. It seems like the Jeye’s fluid (with strong smell) that we used last time to clean all the marking in the area (wall, stoep, trees and poles) did not work at all. They were lying next to one another in the river bed near the pen as it was windy and cold today.

 

Let’s thank the boys they have found Shanti for us. Now we know why they keep visiting Toskaan area.

I will be in touch soon….

 

With regards - Selma

 

NamibRand Nature Reserve

Cheetah Re-introduction Programme

Thursday, 23 July 2009

NamibRand Wild Cheetah Mother whereabouts as of 22/July

The female has again spent almost the whole of the past week within a very small area (moving no more than 200m in any direction), but this current location is about 1 km SW of her den from last week.  I have included two maps, one showing the wide picture (and the reserve boundary), and the other a close focus on her movements, still unfortunately on Zaries.

 

Rob