AFRICAT AND NAMIBIAN LION TRUST NEWS ARTICLES


 

 Feline veterinary specialists visit Africat

Specialist International Veterinary Group Visit AfriCat
At the beginning of May this year an international veterinary group, comprising out Feline veterinary specialists, visiting the AfriCat Foundation Clinic. The main focus was to observe how wild cats are looked at either in their natural environment or in their captive environment, the way of and their reaction to when immobilized, followed by a clinical examination and their recovery stages. This annual examination is legally required, ensuring that all carnivores kept in captivity are experiencing an excellent health status, alternative if first signs of an illness are identified, that immediate mitigating steps are taken to either improve or maintain a quality of life for the animals.
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 cheetahs in namibia

The Masters
Dash, Ruff and Tumble first came to AfriCat in 2008 at the age of one month and lived at AfriCat’s Carnivore Care Centre for the following four years. In 2012 the sibling trio was released into Okonjima’s 20 000 ha nature reserve together with their coalition mates Dizzy and Baxter. Their rehabilitation process seemed promising in the beginning, as they started to hunt almost immediately after their release. After Baxter was killed not long after the release and Dizzy decided to lead a solitary life, the remaining trio only had sporadic hunting success and eventually became sedentary along the eastern boundary fence where game is sparse. After six months of limited movement and minimal hunting success, the decision was made to take Dash, Ruff and Tumble back to AfriCat’s Care Centre in December 2012 where they would act as educational ambassadors for their wild counter parts. The group was called ‘The Masters due to their advanced age and in recognition of their work as “educationalists”.
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cheetahs released back into the wild

AfriCat Cheetah Rehabilitation Program
AfriCat’s Cheetah Rehabilitation project was initiated in 2000 and aimed to give some of AfriCat’s captive cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) the opportunity to return to their natural environment. Between 2000 and 2018, 53 former captive cheetahs were released into the 200 km2Okonjima Nature Reserve. Besides reducing the number of cheetahs in captivity, the project aimed to assess whether rehabilitation is a successful instrument of conserving an endangered population. The majority of all rehabilitated animals were individuals rescued from farmland who spent a significant amount of time in captivity prior their release. Age upon release varied between 10 months and 8 years.
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 environmental education programmes at AfriCat

Why CYMOT Supports AfriCat
“Ever since Greensport was born in 1991, it had committed to conservation and support towards various institutions of wildlife conservation. AfriCat and it’s unique programmes of various conservation projects, including the Rehabilitation of endangered species, Environmental Education and Mitigating the ever-present Human-Wildlife Conflict, creates a deep feeling of appreciation amongst our management members. It is therefore a logical conclusion that Greensport is proud to be associated with a determined and professional team of Namibian conservationists at AfriCat.”
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 the cheetah group known as the aeroplanes

The Aeroplane Coalition
The Aeroplane coalition – consisting of three males, Sniper, Spitfire and Quattro and their sister Hurricane – were released from the AfriCat Carnivore Care Centre into the 20 000 ha Okonjima Nature Reserve at the beginning of December 2016. Spitfire and his sister Hurricane came to AfriCat in 2009 when they were about three months old. After their mother was shot, the two cubs were caught by a farmer, where they stayed for the following three weeks before AfriCat was contacted for assistance. Quattro was seven months old when he was hit by a car. The crash resulted in severe concussion and a broken leg. His front left leg was broken in four different places and needed to be pinned and plated in the Rhino Park Veterinary Clinic in Windhoek. After his major surgery, Quattro recovered from his injuries at AfriCat in a limited space enclosure to ensure that the bone could heal properly. Sniper originated from a farm close to Okahandja where he had been held captive for a couple of months. When he came to AfriCat in 2010, he was overweight and was immediately started on an appropriate diet. Sniper and Quattro were introduced to Spitfire and Hurricane and the four formed a tight coalition.
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 vet students visit Okonjima

Veterinary Students from UNAM visit AfriCat
Visit of School of Veterinary Medicine (SoVM) 3rdYear Students visiting Okonjima Nature Reserve and the AfriCat Foundation. The Veterinary Faculty of the University of Namibia (UNAM) is now in its 5th year of existence. Every year, according to their curriculum, the students have to be exposed, shown, learn and perform certain veterinary procedural skills. All skills are inline with required ‘Day-1 competency’ expected from a newly qualified veterinarian. The AfriCat Foundation with its associated Veterinary Clinic is proud to be involved and associated with the SoVM. Last year we hosted three different classes to UNAM’s 3rd & 4th year students. This year the 3rd year veterinary students were exposed to wildlife work, all in line with the compulsory curriculum section.
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AfriCat's Final Annual Health Check 2018
Annual health checks on the large carnivores at AfriCat are headed by veterinarians from Namibia and South Africa. In-depth health examinations are carried out on all the captive and rehabilitated carnivores. All the cats are darted and then taken to a well equipped, newly built AfriCat clinic for their evaluations. From the 25th to the 29th of June 2018, the veterinary team from the University of Pretoria, assisted by Dr Diethardt Rodenwoldt (Namibian Vet Council reg. no. 84/7 (wildlife) and the AfriCat team examine and immobilized and 24 carnivores (18 cheetahs, 4 leopards and 2 lions) for the AfriCat Annual Health Checks and to collect samples for their registered research project – “The long-term health monitoring and immune-competence of captive cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) and other felids at AfriCat in Namibia”.
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 The cheetahs known as the Saltpans

The Saltpans
In November 2013, two young orphaned cheetahs were found and rescued from the saltpans on the outskirts of Swakopmund. Locals detected the young cheetahs and instantly informed Swakopmund’s resident veterinarians Dr Rodenwoldt (AfriCat’s resident vet) and Dr Winterbach. The cubs were no older than six to seven months and were severely dehydrated and malnourished. After 24 hours of intensive care and observation, both cats were back on their feet and started eating and drinking on their own again. The AfriCat Foundation was contacted for assistance. After a further three days, the orphaned siblings were collected and transported to the AfriCat Headquarters where they were released into a small holding enclosure for the first few days to facilitate monitoring.
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