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Ambassadors Programme


Jonathan and Angela Scott


Working with the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) in Namibia

By Jonathan and Angela Scott, Monday December 01, 2014
Male cheetahs on the run at the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) in Namibia, as seen from the back of a moving pick-up truck! Taken on a Canon EOS-1D X with an EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens; the exposure was 1/60sec at f/22, ISO 250.

Male cheetahs on the run at the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) in Namibia, as seen from the back of a moving pick-up truck! Taken on a Canon EOS-1D X with an EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens; the exposure was 1/60sec at f/22, ISO 250. © Jonathan and Angela Scott

Angie and I are patrons of the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) in Namibia, southern Africa, the brainchild of Dr. Laurie Marker. We visited the CCF twice in 2014 (see our forthcoming article in the Winter issue of Wexas Traveller magazine). In Namibia 95 percent of cheetahs are found on the sprawling game and cattle ranches where lions and hyenas have been eradicated by ranchers.

In the absence of these larger competitors, cheetahs often raise large litters of cubs – four to six is not uncommon. Dr Marker has dedicated the past 25 years trying to persuade famers not to trap and kill cheetahs on their land, offering to remove them if necessary and to relocate them to cheetah-friendly environments. She has pioneered the use of Anatolian shepherd dogs to help famers protect livestock from predators.

Elsewhere cheetah numbers continue to decline throughout their range in Africa and they are endangered due to loss of habitat and conflict with man and his livestock. The upsurge in the trade in live cheetah cubs to the Middle East where they are treasured as exotic pets is further cause for concern.

There are thought to be less than 10,000 cheetahs left in Africa; with 60-80 in Iran. People pay up to US$10,000 for cheetah cubs which are notoriously difficult to breed in captivity. Cubs are transported by boat from the Horn of Africa to the Yemen and then by road to the Middle East. It is estimated that more than 50 percent of the cubs die en route.