Living with wild cats overview

Hey what’s up guys John here and I’m currently back again in South Africa as I’ve done before I can spending some time in a few different projects with volunteer Southern Africa and I just got back from the all of you living with cheetahs program .

The new little cheetahs program is really cool and one of the things that makes it so unique is that it’s headed by a world-renowned cheetah conservationist Ann van Dyk and has over 41 years in cheetah conservation and she’s probably the most successful, noble person in her industry .

My name is Carmen and I am the lodge and admin manager we basically run a cheetah breeding program we want to make sure that the numbers which is declining rapidly gets back up and to release them back into the wild as soon as we get all the permits and the go ahead again.

What I would say separate us from other cheetah project is that we’ve got Ann van Dyk who started this all in 1971 she’s been the first successful one to breed captive cheetahs in captivity and release them in just within two days they could hunt for themselves .

Good morning guys, so today is our first full day as the new cheetah program we just got here yesterday we met some of the staff and some of the resident cheetahs right now we’re headed to breakfast and then I think after that we’re gonna go do a feeding

The first thing we usually do in the morning is wake up early and have breakfast .

Then we get ready and start doing meal prep .

So these are sexy outfits looking good JJ .

I liked it a lot nice to know that you can actually do that with these animals is they’re pretty wild but still a tame enough that you can be in there with a mother feeding .

These cats that we just fed they’re ambassadors and runners so they’ve been trained to sit for their food the cats are we gonna go feed now they’re younger and they were actually raised by mothers as opposed to raised by people so you can see the difference in personality between those that have been hand raised and those that have been naturally raised by their mothers .

Every morning we come to the different camps and we feed all the Cheetahs right now we’re in the breeding camp which is called Lovers Lane and we’re feeding the moms with the cubs these cubs don’t have any kind of interaction with humans they’re completely wild they’re raised by their mothers like they should be .

Seeing cheetahs raised by their mothers is really amazing a lot of the times when you go somewhere the Cubs are separated here it’s amazing because they’re together you can really see the bond and dynamic especially during feeding you can hear the mother call to them and kind of talk to them it’s really sweet to witness .

So we just finished feeding the cheetahs there’s such a difference between the ambassadors and the wildligs like the more wild cheetahs are crazy like running around each other .

where as the ambassadors sit down nicely and you can tell them to look away and they’ll look away when you give them the food .

And now we are about to head out on a game tour to see some of the other cheetahs that they have here pretty excited .

At this project you have the various different cheetah camps but you also have miles and miles of wide-open bush when wild animals roam free so I love getting to go on game drives every day with the Rangers having them explained what different things are learning new things about the plants the trees the animals and just the entire ecosystem .

This is the volunteer area and I’ll show you where we’er staying .

So this is our house we have our kitchen and common room area where we’re gonna hang out .

We have some of our bedrooms .

but this way we have one of our bathrooms this one’s actually it has a full tub and a shower and everything another bathroom and have double beds .

So this is where we come to swim and hang out a lot the time it’s really nice time a chill .

As I’ve seen before at these projects you do get a lot of hands-on animal interaction but the program is really about helping the animals and making a difference so of course taking care of 60 plus Cheetahs on the property does require a lot of work but even when we’re working the staff will find ways to make it fun .

So are we gonna be doing now is we’re gonna throw out the sign so you’re gonna make it a little competition .

Basically just putting out a stone for the reason that there is no enough food in the velt and this is more than a chance for the animals we’re gonna make this into two groups and then have a little competition and the winner gets a prize .

On our days off we got to do different excursions and we did quad biking .

I’ve been quad biking by a few times before but I have to say it was nothing like this .

We’re through the African bush with amazing scenery there’s mountains there’s wild animals .

The whole thing was just incredibly surreal .

On our last night there we do the nighttime game drive and we went out into the bush to watch the sunset .

And as I’m sitting there under the stars I’m sitting there thinking to myself that no matter how many times I come to this country no matter how many times I see these things I never stop feeling amazed and I never stop feeling inspired just by the beauty and by the power of everything I’ve been lucky enough to witness here .

Critically endangered animals living in the wild being in their natural habitat cheetahs being raised by their mothers being out in the middle of the bush at night and not even needing a flashlight because the moon is so bright these are the things that keep myself and so many other volunteers coming back again and again and coming back here every time it still feels like the first time this is something that I think everyone should come and do these are things that you need to come here and experience because listening and me talking about these things on the internet it doesn’t even compare .

I hope you enjoyed this video make sure to hit the like button if you did and share this with someone who you think would enjoy working with and helping wild animals I’m heading off to another project and I’ll see you very soon with another new adventure