While China celebrated the Year of the Rooster, The Living Desert (TLD) is celebrating the year of the Cheetah. These elegant, agile cats can sprint up to 75 mph within seconds. They are currently extinct in 20 countries. There are only 7500 living cheetahs in the wild and they could become extinct within 20 years. TLD is undergoing conservation efforts to protect them.
One project that The Living Desert team is focused on three adorable two year old cheetah sisters, Sudi, Bela, and Kali. The first two graced an audience of men, women and children with their presence. A third sister, Kali, played hard to get and remained out of view. Of course, they needed a little coaxing. To accomplish this, the animal trainers hidden on one side of the long running path blew a high pitched whistle to announce their feeding time. The Bill of Fare was a favored dish of my Italian ancestors-Meatballs:-). Having gone on camera safaris in Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Botswana and South Africa over the years, The The Living Desert outing was an unexpected pleasure. We also visited: Giraffes, Greater Kudu from the Gazelle species, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill bird, Zebras, Smiling Goats, Warthogs, and Ankole Longhorn steers.
Postscript: On this day millions of people were tuned into a live cam feed of a Giraffe named April about to give birth at the Animal Adventure Park in NY.