Cheetah Outreach In Cape Town
Now that I have your attention…
Just kidding! I didn’t kidnap a cheetah but I would have really loved to! Last Tuesday I was off, so Louise and I decided to visit the Cheetah Outreach! For those of you who don’t know, Louise is the lovely lady who is drawing a masterpiece on Riverlodge Backpacker's wall (book online with Riverlodge Backpackers)
The cheetah outreach is located in Somerset West and it's there to help out the cheetahs that are in danger of going extinct very quickly. They take care of them and finance the whole thing with the visitors that come see the cheetahs.
I was never a big fan of zoos, and it may sound “hipster” or “mainstream” or whatever word you may choose to define me, but it breaks my heart seeing animals in cages having to sit around while ugly faces knock on their cages. But in this case, the Cheetah Outreach is actually supporting a cause.
If you decide to go there, make sure that you are not totally useless with finding directions, or you have a proper GPS, because we got lost for about an hour. The place ended up being at the end of a road we had passed by about a million times.
The place has loads of other animals: they had Meerkats (very fat ones that were adorable) a Bat-Eared Fox, and Caracals. One of them was playing with a pink fluffy blanket and looked very adorable!
We decided to pay for the encounter with the Cheetah cubs. They had been there for only three days. When I saw them playing with each other I thought about, very sneakily, putting one of them in my backpack and bringing him home with me. Then I thought maybe the people would notice that one of the Cheetahs was missing. And that there was something fluffy and purry in my backpack. And as we have 2 cats and 1 dog at home they will probably not get along well.
The people working there were very nice; they told us a lot of facts about Cheetahs. Did you know that as they grow up they usually find a friend (their same gender) and then stick with them for their rest of their life? Now that’s what I call a true BFF.
We got the chance to touch the baby cheetahs, they were so soft!! You could only touch them in their backs and in the direction of their fur. I asked why it wasn’t possible for us to just take them in our arms and squeeze them and play with them, but the workers told us that they didn’t want them to grow up thinking that it was okay to just jump on people. I mean, they have claws and teeth and all that, and it might hurt. I guess.
The immune system of the cheetahs is very poor, so they made us sanitize our hands and feet before entering the space. The cheetahs were very playful, but after a while we had to leave because they were getting tired. In the main building we watched a video about cheetahs and saw a short clip of them running to try to catch food. They run so fast! About 70 miles per hour.
In general, my visit to the Cheetah Outreach was lovely! I have to say I knew little about these beautiful animals. Their fur is just out of this world; with the beautiful yellow colour and the black spots (did you know that they are born with they same amount of spots they will always have?) It’s almost crazy to believe that Mother Nature can create such beautiful creatures!
However, these species are in danger. They suffer a lot from loss of habitat, decline in prey, poaching, persecution by livestock farmers, and competition with other large predators in protected areas. If you are in Cape Town, you should pop by the Cheetah Outreach. You will not only have a lovely day, but you will also help them support their cause! :)
After the cheetah outreach, we had a nice soup at Mugg&Bean, and we headed to Gordon’s Bay! It was a beautiful sunny day. I saw a second hand book shop and couldn’t control myself (as usual), so now I have 3 more books that I have no idea how I will carry home (in case you were interested, I bought Misery by Stephen King, Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, and the Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold).
At night we went home and watched the football game! Too bad my compatriots lost, but there is always a next time!
Positive thought of the day: Life isn't waiting for the storm to pass, its about learning to dance in the rain :)
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