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CCF UK: saving the most threatened big cat in Africa

Dear <<First Name>>

We know many of you are keen to stay informed on our cheetah conservation activities in Namibia and how CCF UK is supporting this work; so we are delighted to share with you the first edition of the Cheetah Conservation Fund UK newsletter, Cheetah Tails. Published quarterly, the team here at CCF UK will gather all the latest news and updates from the field together with the latest activities in the UK, and share them with you here.

This month we have a special opportunity for anyone considering making a gift to CCF with our Chewbaaka's Wild Cheetah Challenge. Every donation made to CCF between now and 31 August, 2017 will be DOUBLED up to $225,000, thanks to the generosity of an exceptional CCF donor! Every gift you make will help us protect the cheetahs living in the wild by reducing the two main factors that negatively impact their survival: human/wildlife conflict and habitat loss.  Please donate here, thank you.

There is also the opportunity to join the CCF UK team on Sunday, 10 September as we Walk4Wildlife through London's beautiful Richmond and Wimbledon parks. This walk is one of several throughout the UK and it's hoped they will raise much needed funds for the cheetah and other wildlife. Read on for more details - we'd love it if you could join us!
Raising awareness
It’s hard to believe we are already half way through the year and it’s been a busy six months of activity to draw attention to the threats these iconic cats face and encouraging new supporters of our work at CCF UK - people like you who care passionately for the cheetah and their survival in the wild.

Our year began with scientists recommending that cheetahs be moved to the 'endangered species' list as soon as possible due to their falling numbers and, with an estimated population of just 7,100 cheetahs remaining in the wild, it is paramount that cheetahs are afforded this important level of protection. Until a decision is made, they will continue to be classed as 'vulnerable' by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

On a more positive note, we now know that Namibia now has the highest population of cheetah in the wild - proof that our integrated conservation strategies to protect the cheetah truly make a difference.

It's not just habitat loss and human wildlife conflict  that threaten cheetah. The desire some people hold to own an 'exotic' pet ensures the illegal wildlife trade continues to flourish. It's estimated that approximately 300 cheetahs are trafficked each year, with many bound for a life in the Middle East. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is leading the way and has recently passed legislation that states owning such a pet is illegal and penalties include up to six months in jail and fines up to $136,000. We hope this will reduce this trade in these states but it still continues in other Middle Eastern countries. Globally, illicit animal trafficking is a $10 billion industry. After the drugs and weapons trade, animal trafficking is the third most lucrative illicit sector in the world.

In April, nine vulnerable cheetah cubs became victims of this illegal trade and a rescue mission was set up by CCF Namibia.  Thanks to the incredible support of IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare), the cubs were rescued before they could be smuggled out of Africa. CCF UK subsequently launched an urgent appeal to raise awareness of the trade and money to care for the cubs.

It was encouraging to see how the UK national press responded and helped to raise public awareness of their plight. The support we received from you, our donors, was phenomenal. Thank you to everyone for your generosity and for your kind wishes too. You can read the coverage of the cubs' story here: Sadly, cheetah cubs are incredibly fragile when they are removed from their mothers' care and despite the best efforts of our CCF partner on the ground in Somaliland, eight out of the nine cubs died not long after they were confiscated, all succumbing from the effects of their traumatic ordeal. Somaliland authorities granted us permission to transfer the last remaining male cub to a sanctuary where he is now receiving expert veterinarian care. As we write, two further female cubs have been rescued, again in Somaliland. Aged at approximately five months and 14 weeks respectively, the older female called 'Veepee' is frail and showing signs of malnutrition which may limit her recovery. The younger cub, 'Dhoobi' has been more fortunate and is healthy and growing fast. We will closely monitor the progress of all the cubs and CCF UK will work hard to continue raising awareness of the trade in the UK. Cheetahs are #BornToBeWild.

Our first International Royal Patron, HRH Princess Michael of Kent
We're delighted to report our work at CCF UK has also captured the attention of HRH Princess Michael of Kent, who we are very proud and honoured to say is now our first international Royal Patron. Not many people will be aware of her longstanding fascination with cheetahs and how she saved an orphaned cub in Mozambique when she was just a teenager.

We are thrilled to have her support and you can expect to hear more on this news later.

Photo: HRH Highness Princess Michael of Kent (left) visiting our headquarters in Namibia with our founder, Dr Laurie Marker

Could you be our next Cheetah Champion?
For some people saying 'I like Cheetahs' just isn't a phrase in their vocabulary. Some people LOVE cheetahs and will tirelessly dedicate their time, energy and support to ensure they do all they can to help secure the cheetahs' future. These very special supporters are who we call our Cheetah Champions, and we're celebrating their stories every month throughout 2017. Our Champions come from all walks of life and all ages, such as 10 year-old Sara from Denmark who as well as sponsoring a number of our orphaned cheetahs, also asks her family to make donations to CCF UK instead of buying her presents!

In June we featured wildlife photographer and film maker Kim Wolhuter. Some of you may have seen his recent critically acclaimed project, 'Cheetahs - Growing up fast' which Sir David Attenborough narrated. Beautifully shot in South Africa, Kim formed a unique bond with a female cheetah and her cubs and his film tells the story of their struggle for survival.

This month we are celebrating the support of veterinarian MCheetah championeme Zakiewicz who worked CCF HQ in 2012. She continues to support CCF UK, recently running the London Marathon raising over £1,500 and she will also compete in the Brighton Marathon in 2018. So if you're a passionate support of the cheetah and CCF UK, you could see yourself featured here!

Every year we run a number of events to engage with as many of our existing and new supporters and this year is no exception:

We have just had a successful event at the Wildlife Heritage Foundation/Big Cat Sanctuary where Brian Badger, CCF's Director of Conservation & Outreach gave an interesting talk to over 100 people about how CCF is saving the cheetah from extinction with innovative conservation methods. The event raised a few thousand pounds for CCF.

In September, come and be part of Heathfield Vets annual Fun Dog Show on Sunday 10 September.  CCF UK was chosen as their charity of the year so all the funds raised will go to helping support cheetahs in the wild.

Walking for CCF UK
Walk4WildlifeWe are lucky to have people walking and raising funds for CCF UK during this year's WalkforWildlife 2017 and members of the CCF UK team are taking part in the event on Sunday, 10 September which will see us walk through London's beautiful Richmond and Wimbledon parks. If you can join us, we'd love to have your company! Alternatively you can find details of the walk nearest to you on  our events page  and join like-minded people of all ages and backgrounds who are passionate about cheetahs and wildlife.

Our friends at BVS Vets will be raising awareness of CCF UK's work at the forthcoming London Vet Show on 16 & 17 November, London. BVS Vets are the leading veterinary careers advisory service in the UK offering vacancies and internships throughout the UK. For those who are more adventurous, their internships also include opportunities to join our team in Namibia at our CCF headquarters there.

For more details of these events and future dates for your diary please visit our events page.

Thank you
With your help, CCF UK continues to raise awareness of the plight of the cheetah in the UK and raise funds to support headquarters in Namibia as they work towards securing a future for the cheetah in the wild. These initiatives are gaining ground and CCF continues to demonstrate through our conservation programmes that people living alongside the cheetah can benefit from a sustainable and healthy ecosystem – important for crops, livestock and, of course, a viable income. 

This progress is only made possible through a combination of your support, our loyal volunteers, partners and patrons. We know how fortunate CCF UK is to have supporters who are so committed to helping in our mission. Your dedication constantly reinvigorates our hope for the future of the cheetah - thank you.

Don't forget, you can follow this story and get updates on all our CCF UK's activities by following us on social media including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

With best wishes

Dr Jane Galton, & Maggie Du Pree
CCF UK Trustees
Notes from Dr Laurie Marker at CCF in Namibia
Educating our future generations
Inspiring and educating the younger generation about the importance predators play within a healthy ecosystem and the value of keeping them alive are the fundamental building blocks of our programs for schools. In March we were invited to Gammams Primary School in Windhoek, Namibia where 35 fifth grade students participated in our KILL ID exercise which explores how to avoid human wildlife conflict (HWC) situations. Students learnt more about understanding predator behaviour, the predator’s role in the ecosystem, and highlights predator friendly farming techniques. The day was a truly rewarding experience for everyone involved and the students left with a new found knowledge of cheetah conservation and how it is possible to live alongside and respect these big cats. Read more

Welcome to our new Cheetah EcoLodge

With uninterrupted views of the Waterberg Plateau, the five room Cheetah View Lodge is the ideal setting for travellers who want to witness a world class conservation facility at work. With five deluxe private rooms and a communal dining room overlooking a waterhole, staying at Cheetah View Lodge, or at luxurious Babson House, means you are ideally placed to experience the beauty of Namibia whilst learning more about our programs to save the cheetah in the wild. Guests can enjoy a variety of cheetah activities, from cheetah drives to the popular cheetah runs. All proceeds from the lodge support CCF’s continuing efforts to save the cheetah, promote ethical farming and teach coexistence in Namibia. Our new website, is now live and provides online booking for our guests. We look forward to your visit, either for your first time, or as a returning cheetah friend.  Read more

Our CCF Research Centre is open!

As human populations increase so does the complexity of managing a livestock and wildlife integrated farming system. Our Research Centre is renowned as a centre of excellence in research and education on cheetahs and their eco-systems and we regularly host students from University of Namibia as they use our facilities and surrounding land for data collection to inform future farming practices.

You don't need to be a PhD student to visit our Research Centre as our doors are open to the public and we welcome all visitors. You can see first hand our own model farm complete with livestock and livestock guarding dogs, farms without conflict with wildlife - a model that can be easily adopted by all farmers. So if you are planning a visit to CCF to learn more about our conservation programs, remember to include our Research Centre in your itinerary. Read more
Cheetah release into Erindi Private Game Reserve
On 5 March CCF released a coalition of three male cheetahs into Erindi Private Game Reserve. Known as the 'Inmates' Alcatraz, Dexter and Donner are making great advances into a life of independence.They are hunting successfully choosing to hunt young Steenbok, Kudu calves and most recently a Springbok, however we are still supplementing their food as they are still adjusting to a life in the reserve.  They still have a lot to learn but are very alert and aware which bodes well for their future.  Read more
Please help us to keep Cheetahs in the wild
With an estimated population of 7,100 cheetahs remaining in the wild and now extinct in over 20 countries, cheetahs have vanished from 91% of their historic range. These statistics can make for depressing reading, but you can help to address the balance by supporting our activities at CCF. Your donations will help to ensure our programs continue to reduce human wildlife conflict and secure essential cheetah habitat. Any donation is welcome, and don't forget that during Chewbaaka's Wild Cheetah Challenge you will have your gift doubled! - thank you.

Farewell to Mendel
Mendel and his three brothers Livingstone, Fossey and Darwin joined CCF in 2007 when they were just a year old. Initially malnourished and weak, all four brothers were brought back to health and formed a close bond. In 2014 they were relocated to Kiripotib Guest Lodge near Windhoek, where they had access to amazing semi-wild spaces. During his lifetime Mendel had many sponsors like yourself; people committed to caring for CCF’s resident cheetahs. Sadly at the age of 10 and after suffering from renal complications, he passed away quietly and peacefully. We all miss him; he was one of a kind. Read more
Copyright © 2017 Cheetah Conservation Fund UK, All rights reserved.

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