Our Visit to Support the Cheetah Outreach
My wife, Miranda, and I, along with our children, Ella, Jake and Max, were lucky enough to visit Cape Town this week to see my family. While here, we had the pleasure of visiting the Cheetah Outreach program in a suburb called Somerset West.
One of our favorite animals is the Cheetah, which with such grace and beauty, is the fastest land animal in the world. However, like many special creatures, their survival in the wild is under extreme threat. At the turn of the 20th century, there were over 100,000 Cheetah living in 44 countries throughout Africa and Asia. Today, there are less than 10,000 worldwide, and South Africa is home to fewer than 600 of these majestic cats. At their current rate of decline, this species could be extinct within 10-15 years! Cheetah Outreach campaigns to bring the plight of the free-ranging cheetah into full focus in the rural and urban communities of South Africa, especially the Western Cape, and provide an international voice for this endangered African cat. Their Cheetah Ambassadors create awareness and provide financial support for their conservation projects: 1) Conservation Delivery – their Outreach Trust has an Anatolian Livestock Guarding Dog program (a Turkish breed – photo below of one of their dogs featured with the program’s supervisor, Dawn Glover, and our children) which places these incredible dogs on farms to protect the sheep and cattle without harming the cheetah that may prey on the livestock. In turn, this removes the farmer’s need to trap such predators.
2) Environmental Education – their program creates a sense of ownership for South Africa’s valuable wildlife heritage and to sow the seeds of a conservation ethic amongst the country’s youth, especially in their disadvantaged communities by: * Funding educational hands-on programs in schools and bussing of learners to the Trust’s education facility. * Hosting workshops for teachers. * Offering international fellowships to provide skills and capacity-building of teachers from previously disadvantaged communities. * Developing and distributing curriculum linked resources to use the cheetah as a learning tool. * Training of ambassadors for conservation efforts. This is very impressive and admirable work they do. We look forward to seeing how we can contribute and support their important work in the future. To learn more, visit www.cheetah.co.za.