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Cheetah outreach – volunteering in Africa!

One of our RVN’s Sophie recently spent 4 months travelling around South America and Cape Town in South Africa. Whilst in Cape Town, Sophie volunteered for one month at Cheetah Outreach. Sophie also spend 1 year travelling in 2007, and 6 months travelling in 2011.

Cheetah Outreach is a small animal centre caring for Cheetahs, Bat Eared Foxes, Servals, Jackals, Meerkats, one Caracal and Anatolian Shepherd Dogs. These animals are at Cheetah Outreach as ambassador animals to raise awareness and funds to help preserve the Cheetah. This is done by placing Anatolian Guard Dogs onto farmer’s land who then grow up with livestock and learn to protect it. Cheetahs are often mistaken as the predators that have attacked the farmer’s livestock as they are seen out in the day, but it is generally always the night-time hunters. The farmers will sadly shoot the Cheetahs when they are seen in the day, but with an Anatolian in place, this will be enough to scare away the Cheetah as  they are non-confrontational.

The Cheetah is very sadly rapidly declining in numbers and is critically endangered with less than 5000 remaining in the wild. Cheetah Outreach is raising awareness of the farmer/cheetah conflict and doing all they can to help preserve this beautiful animal.

Whilst working at Cheetah Outreach, Sophie would care for the animals, give guided tours, work on the entrance and in the gift shop, and perform general duties.

This is what Sophie said about the experience: I love to travel, see the world and experience the nature the World has to offer. I have been fortunate to work with some amazing and beautiful animals and big cats. Working with Cheetahs and other cats was a fantastic experience and to hear a Cheetah purr is amazing – my favourite noise!


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