Following my life and work at the Cheetah Conservation Fund

To the wild!

A few weeks ago, CCF released four previously captive cheetahs into Erindi Private Game Reserve where they have began their lives anew in the wild! These four boys, called the “Leopard Boys,” were re-wilded earlier this year and Erindi offered to provide them a new home. The boys were all darted and fitted with VHF radio collars (so they could be tracked and monitored on a daily basis in their new home) and loaded up into transport boxes for the 2 hour trip to Erindi. The release went great and Ryan Sucaet, the head of CCF’s re-wilding program, monitored them for the 2 weeks following the release. He is now back at CCF and reports that the boys are doing great on their own in the wild!

one of the Leopard Boys feeling a little tired after being darted

two of the VHF collars ready to go

clinic staff doing the work-up on one of the Leopard Boys

Recently, I added a new feature to the ambassador’s enclosure. Cheetahs enjoy places where they they can see long distances, so I built a very large mound in their enclosure. It’s taller than the fence so when they are on top, they see over the fence with no obstruction to their view. From it they have a full 360˚ view and most definitely enjoy spending their time up there (as you can see from the pictures below). When we first let them out into the enclosure with the mound, they made a B-line for it and have since been spending many hours lounging on top.

Last week I drove on a field count (a method for estimating prey abundances in our big field) and on the way back from the count I managed to get a few great pictures of a Kori Bustard taking flight. These birds are massive so when they first take off it’s like watching a commercial airline jet taking off.

Kori Bustard taking flight

male korhaan in the big field

male korhaan in flight

Sorry it has taken so long for me to get a new post up, but finding extra time isn’t always the easiest here at CCF. As always, I’m happy to answer any questions and I’m open to any comments. Until next time…

-Eli

Kaijay looking silly :)

view of the Waterberg from CCF’s water towers

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8 responses

  1. Ohhhh. What wonderful photos! I found this blog from ‘Save The Cheetah’ on facebook. So glad. I hope to find out more about what you’re doing. It’s so good to know young people are working in conservation. I’ll be keeping an eye on this blog. These are simply beautiful photos, but it’s even more encouraging to know that this great work is transpiring in this time when I mostly read about the massive extinctions and illegal poaching.

    July 15, 2012 at 12:31 pm

  2. Debbie Morris

    All my times in Africa and I have never seen a Kori Bustard fly. Thank you for the pictures of it. The mound was a great idea.

    July 15, 2012 at 2:05 pm

  3. Margaret Wilkie

    No WONDER you didn’t have time to post on your blog! Dirt pile!!!!!!! Whoever thought of that idea is a genius.

    July 15, 2012 at 3:48 pm

  4. Cassandra

    Eli! Those pictures of the Kori Bustard are beautiful! I work with two koris right now and they are really cool birds. It seems like the kids are really enjoying their dirt mound, what a nice gift you’ve given them. See you soon bud.

    July 15, 2012 at 5:38 pm

  5. Sven Tolksdorf

    Wow… your “very large mound” isn’t a mound. It’s a MOUNTAIN. That was a very nice idea. Good job.

    July 15, 2012 at 5:56 pm

  6. Margaret Wilkie

    Maybe plant a little grass or something so it doesn’t turn into Mud Mountain when the rains come?

    July 16, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    • ehwalker91

      Haha yeah, we will have grass seed ready as soon as conditions are right.

      July 17, 2012 at 9:27 am

  7. Haha, I agree with Sven, when I read that you built a mound, i imagined something where maybe 1 or 2 of them could sit, but looking at the photo, i was like Whaaaat? It’s nearly as big as a smaller house :)

    July 17, 2012 at 3:58 am

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