Sunday, 30 June 2013

Laura's New Bling!

All of us involved with the NCCC would like to say a huge THANK YOU to those of you who not only made it through our Gangnam Style video but then decided to donated money to provide our beautiful Laura with a new radio collar. In fact with the funds raised we were also able to purchase a new collar for Spartacus whose collar had died. 

Laura had previously been fitted with a very large collar (the only one available upon her arrival at the NCCC), which despite not causing her any major discomfort was not ideal. 

N/a'an ku se's director Dr Rudie van Vuuren and Head of Research Florian Wiese came to the NCCC and performed the darting procedures on both cats. The cats were only kept under a very light anesthesia in order for us to quickly exchange collars.

Both collars work extremely well; it is now so nice to see Laura and often not notice that she is even wearing a collar. Cara is very relieved to be able to know exactly where Spartacus is at all times again!

We strive to make sure our cheetahs have the best possible life, we feed them a proper diet, run them for exercise and provide them with enrichment items. To achieve this the collars are vital as they enable us to find the cats quickly, allowing us the time to look after them to this high standard. So again, to all of you who donated thank you very VERY much!!!!

Monday, 3 June 2013

New Faces!

The NCCC has welcomed some new faces over the last couple of months, some furry and some not so furry! First we are pleased to announce the arrival of Cara Esterhuizen, who joined the NCCC last month and has taken over the Cheetah safari drives and daily husbandry of the cheetahs. Cara has  lots of carnivore experience from her time with De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Centre in South Africa and Hammerstein Lodge in Namibia; therefore Kate and I were very relieved when she took the job!

Kate and I are still very much involved with the NCCC but we will now be based at N/a'an ku se's Neuras Wine and Wildlife Estate which is just an hours drive further south. This is where the volunteer program will now be based; volunteers will still help with the research and wild carnivore tracking as well as visiting the NCCC to feed the cats and check the camera traps. 

We have also recently welcomed two new cheetahs to the camp to act as ambassadors.  Three year old males Teddy and Ayla were both orphaned when around six months of age. They arrived at N/a'an ku se's Wildlife Sanctuary at the same time and placed together. So although they are not related they have bonded like brothers and are inseparable.
Since their arrival they have caused a bit of trouble amongst the ladies; clearly the presence of three beautiful females has been very exciting to the young males but they have a long way to go if their aim is to impress. This is because their tactic is to charge up to them and begin fighting, you could compare it to little boys in the playground pulling the girls' hair! They are the ones who also come out second best and end up with scratches and cuts whilst the girls remain unscathed and unamused. 

The mischievous youngsters are perfect ambassador cats however and are very relaxed around the tourists and have a natural ability to pose beautifully for photos.

Apologies for the lack of blog action recently, the changes have kept us pretty busy but now everyone is settled normal service shall resume and Cara will also update you all on developments here at the NCCC. The next blog will be coming very soon and will contain the exciting results of my Gangnam Style efforts!   Matt

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Volunteering at the NCCC

Here is a great video about their time with us here at the NCCC made by two of our former volunteers; Noelle van Thujil and Max Rachmat.

Thanks guys!!