December 4th is International Cheetah Day – this occasion cannot go unmarked on this blog! Run by the Cheetah Conservation Fund, the day is aiming to raise awareness of the plight of the cheetah – or in social media speak #savethecheetah.
The Cheetahs in my house are busy at the moment – the main two, Bonnie & Theo are continuing their tennis career whilst the rest of them are considering forming a cricket team and some have formed a harp orchestra. The Banana People, the Dinos and the Strikes are all back in our lives – which essentially says that the Cheetah Keeper is one stressed and unsettled little dude. The imaginaries are what gets us through the day at the moment – from the moment he wakes until he goes to sleep, he’s reliant on the reassurance that the Cheetahs bring – even if their antics are mind boggling detailed when I’m lying in bed and haven’t yet had a cup of tea. His memory of what the Cheetahs got up to last year (and the year before) on the Christmas lights here in St Albans (as I blogged about back in 2012) is detailed to the extreme – but he physically relaxes when he’s talking about them – especially when the stories are mixed in with a cuddle or walking hand in hand.
On Monday we had the school ‘occasional day’ – otherwise known as “the teacher’s Christmas shopping day” (have they not heard of the internet like every other working parent…?) so we kept with tradition and headed up to Whipsnade Zoo. The Keepers had planned this trip back in September – animals, lunch (Whipsnade chips are fantastic), soft play and hot chocolate were all on the list. Both the Cheetah Keeper and I took photos – he’s developing a really good eye and loves using my Panasonic Lumix bridge camera.
It being a tad (understatement) chilly up there now, different animals are more active – and this means the Whipsnade cheetahs were up and really active. Not only was one getting really annoyed with it’s tail, they were also keeping a very close eye on all the dumper trucks and builders who were driving past their paddock. The cubs are over 2 now and have gone from these bundles of fluff:
To these – confident, agile and beautiful creatures
You can find out more about International Cheetah Day here (I may have to download the certificate of cheetah achievement!) and when the time is right I’ll update you the score of the [imaginary] Cheetah’s cricket test match series.