Namutoni (Etosha east) – Otjiwarongo (Cheetah Conservation Fund)

The drive to Otjiwarongo was thankfully on paved roads (or tarred, as they say here). I had paid for a full day at the Cheetah Conservation Fund, but I over-estimated our ability to cover the distance in time for the 8AM cheetah run. I arrived at noon finally and spent the rest of the day in the company of a guide and the cheetahs. Here are some pics from the day. I think they show how well the cheetah is camouflaged in the brown grass.
A couple of points of interest about the cheetah: First, apparently their genetic pool is very small and thus most of the cheetahs we see today are heavily inbred. This results in a very fragile animal. Second, most of Namibia is privately owned and fenced off. There are many game farms that grow Springbok, Oryx, Kudu, Ostrich etc. Inevitably, farmers and cheetahs are in perpetual conflict resulting in many cheetah deaths. Sometimes farmers kill pregnant animals and realizing there are un-born cubs will cut open the mother and bring them to the Cheetah Conservancy. Once they have been taken out of nature they must be cared for until they die. To this end, the Conservancy goes through 12-15 donkeys per week to feed the many cheetahs on hand.

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