Thursday, July 24, 2008

Cheetah Keeper Update

As for an update on my internship I'm officially a Cheetah Keeper now. It
comes with a lot of responsibilities and a bit of stress but I'm 100%
capable of dealing with it. This sound weird saying this but I really do
feel like an adult now. I have very little time off now that I'm responsible
for half the Cheetahs here and another intern who has been here longer is in
charge of the other half. We both work together as a team to make sure
everything runs smoothly which is not always the case. We have Cheetah Runs
in the morning for guests, which is a lure system with a piece of rag tied
on it that the cheetahs run after. This involves making sure there is meat
cut up, setting up the run, making sure guest are safe while in the
enclosure, and giving talks to the public about Cheetahs. Next in my day is
feeding and cleaning. This is what takes up most of my day here. This
involves getting meat ( 2 kg of each donkey) for 25 cheetahs, driving around
to each enclosure and checking fences for holes, locking them up in one pen
so we are able to clean and feed in the other, collecting fecal samples from
each cat for testing from worms, parasites, and hormones, disposing of all
left over bones or donkey heads, and also checking (by observation only)
each cat to make sure its healthy and has nothing wrong with it. Then at the
end of my day I need to log feedings for each cheetah and log anything that
was out of the ordinary.
Other jobs that I do here is give tours to guests around the facility,
logging camera trap photos, cleaning the goat pen, waterhole cleaning,
work-ups on wild cheetahs that have been caught, freezing sperm from male
cheetahs and processing it in our Genome Recourse Bank, and game counts. I
love every minute here and I cant believe that I have less than 2 weeks
left. I'm a little bummed out that I finally get Cheetah keeper status here
and soon will have to leave but at least I can say I was a cheetah keeper
here because it is not a position they give to just anyone and it will look
great on my resume too.


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