Last week on our "off" day we joined the husbandry team to track one of the cheetahs that was recently released on the land at the center. The day started out actually tracking one cheetah onto a nearby farm. After driving for about 45 minutes across what maybe used to be a road, but was definitely not a road anymore we could not pick up a radio signal on her.
So, after a long, long journey back to CCF land we set out to find another one of the girls who was last tracked on another farm not too far from the center. Once back on CCF land we drove another 30 minutes or so until we started to pick up a radio signal. This time the signal was strong and we stopped the truck and set out on foot for about 1 km. Once we entered an open grassland area we immediately spotted our cat...perched on a termite mount nonetheless watching us approach. We at first thought that she was part of the termite mound, until she suddenly moved her head. The 4 of us were amazed at how gorgeous she looked perched atop the mound keeping watch over the area.
We approached her and she let us get quite close while we photographed her and visually inspected her to see how she was doing physically. The released cats are monitored quite closely for as long as possible to make sure they are hunting on their own and generally taking care of themselves and staying away from people. Once the cats show that they can survive on their own they will be taken to another location to live out their life in the wild or a reserve. It was really amazing to successfully track this cat and equally amazing to see her in her element clearly doing very well. Hopefully, we can go out tracking again soon!