Africa Trip – Day 3 Cheetah Experience

*A quick note*

After Day 1 at CE, I found that I’d be too tired at the end of the day to write a full detailed journal. So during the rest of my stay I wrote short bullet points of what I did each day. Now I have been in the process of elaborating on those bullet points, which is why they might be a little less thorough than the first entry at CE. Thanks!

June 8, 2017

Yet again, a very cold morning. We all bundled up and squished together in the van to head to the farm. Today we left without Joey as he was staying at the volunteer house for the day in order to help Cheetah Experience with a new database system. So, naturally, he was able to sleep in a bit longer than me. Lucky.

My first job today was to walk around yard 1 again to poop scoop and clean up the meerkat enclosures. I finished my chores pretty early today so I dug out some earl grey tea from my backpack and made a cup to keep my hands from freezing while I chatted with Colette about our lives and about God.

We got a message that cheetah feed was starting soon so I cleaned my mug and headed to the meat room to grab some bowls. Now that I had met and fed Juno once, I made sure to grab her bowl again today! This time it was Colette, Janet, and myself who fed the three girls.

We had our usual meeting before the newbies, minus Joey, had curio and cheetah induction with Emmet. For curio induction we were basically learning how to give tours, shadow tours, and help out running the curio gift shop. It was all fairly easy to learn, I was just anxious to start cheetah induction! We started with the three girls since their enclosure is practically right next door to the curio shop and I got to let Neo lick my hand through the fence. We also went to say hi to Legacy. We didn’t go into her enclosure but we watched her for a little while before we were allowed to go have free time with the animals.

Today during my free time I tried to sit with the wolves but they weren’t very interested that I was there so instead I sat with Vega and Lyra the servals. They weren’t super affectionate or anything but definitely more welcoming. IMG_5597.JPG

Once it was lunch time, I walked with a few other volunteers back to the volunteer house so that I could eat lunch with Joey. After we were done eating we packed up the food and rode in the van back to the farm so that everyone there could eat as well.

fullsizeoutput_107eSince I still had more free time, I grabbed my camera and headed out around the farm to try to take some pictures of the animals. Unfortunately my 300mm was taking very hazy photos so I had to rely on my 75mm but that’s alright. They still turned out nicely. When I went to go see the servals again, Vega was sitting up tall on the roof of their little hut. It truly showed me just how big he is.

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Vega sitting on the roof

2pm rolled around which meant it was time for group activity. Today it was painting wooden boxes for the meerkats. We tried to make them as cute as possible so that they would actually look like a little home for them.

 

 

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Everyone working on the meerkat houses (I’m in the black hoody in the bottom right)

Afterwards, I babysat Cosmo and Cassius with Margalit. They were being so silly and ended up playing with their water bowl as if it were a soccer ball! Batting it around and stealing it from each other. It was quite the show they put on for us.

Later, I went to the lion side feeding and threw chicken over the fences to feed the caracals and tossed some to the servals as well. It was pretty quick so I went to wash up before realizing I had more free time.

I ended up chatting with some volunteers by the three cubs’ enclosure before walking them with Poofy to the baby room for the night because of the low temperatures. I gave Wendy the first choice since it was her last evening to do so and she chose Phoenix. I chose Gemini and Grace was left with Hazel (the serval). I should have known what I was getting into when I picked the most playful of the bunch. Gemini was distracted by the cheetah cubs, among other things, and kept laying down or standing stiff as a statue. It was kind of funny but we were left behind by the other cubs before Poofy finally picked her up and away from the distractions so that she could keep walking.

IMG_5644I grabbed my camera to walk around and take more pictures since the day was coming to an end. Colette in with the wolves so I took a couple of pictures for her before I went in as well. They absolutely loved Colette and were licking her face the entire time. I gradually joined her on the platform and the alpha Shakira was letting me pet her and gave me the slightest lick on the nose, accepting me into the pack. I’m so glad Colette was there and knew the importance of the moment as she grabbed some pictures without me even asking.

IMG_5645Joey came to camp walked a few laps with Fushan. Basically they would walk side by side, the fence dividing them, around the perimeter of his enclosure. It’s the only way we can really interact with and give attention to Fushan since we can’t go in with him or touch him.DSC_0583 We also went over to the leopard enclosure and gave Callista some love and attention which she gladly accepted as she’s in heat. We tried to get the attention of wolves again but they were comfy lying in the back of the enclosure, howling back and forth with the lions as they roared.

I made a quick visit to the three girls to take some pictures before we left the farm for the evening.

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It’s so cute how they all cuddle together!

Once we were back to the volunteer house we made dinner and all watched Percy Jackson : Sea of Monsters before heading off to bed.

 

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