So in an earlier post I mentioned that we have been running the Okakarara cubs on a regular basis. These guys are almost a year old now and recently we promoted them to a larger enclosure for their runs. Their own enclosure is where we used to run them, however in the past couple of weeks we were feeling that they had outgrown that enclosure while running, so we decided it would be best to move them to another one of the cheetah enclosures for the runs. Their first time in the new enclosure and on the new run course, which was mid-last week, went very well, and yesterday was their third time and things are still going well. It’s a new place for them so they really enjoy exploring the area as well as the opportunity to run at speeds they couldn’t reach before because of space limitations. Senay in particular has been very fast and enthusiastic on the course. I imagine that visitors will enjoy the opportunity to see these guys running when they are full grown. I haven’t had much opportunity to get pictures of them running in the new area because I have been so busy operating the lure machine, but yesterday I managed to get a few shots, some of which are posted below. There is also one posted of me operating the lure.
CCF is currently mid stride in a long term cheetah census using camera traps as the data collection method. We have about 15-20 camera traps set up all around CCF property at trees that cheetahs using as marking and communications posts which we call “play trees.” We have done short term censuses in this same way, however this is the first long term camera trap census that has been done. Our ecology team feels that the data collected on the short term will differ from this long term study due to the ways in which cheetahs, particularly female cheetahs, use these play trees. In addition to the cheetah census, the data collected will be used in a variety of other ways. One of the most significant being the study of the relationship between cheetahs and leopards in regards to these play trees, because both cheetahs and leopards have been seen to use the same trees in what we think to be similar ways. I have the responsibility of driving around to all these camera traps and collecting and changing the SD cards. It takes me a few hours to check just half of the cameras because they are spread out so far in CCF’s property. Yet I have really enjoyed this task because it has allowed me to see a lot of CCF that most people do not typically see, and has also provided me the opportunity to participate in CCF’s research.
So not too much to update everyone on. It’s business as usual here at CCF. As always I’m open to any questions or comments. Until next time…