2013 Chewbaaka Memorial Challenge
We remember chewbaaka
We think of ambassadors as high-level emissaries, representing their country’s interests in distant lands. Chewbaaka the cheetah was called an Ambassador for his species. But he was so much more.
When I first met Chewbaaka he was only a few weeks old, starved and close to death. I bottle fed him, and raised him by hand. Chewbaaka would spend the next 16 years by my side, as I worked with Namibian farmers, school children and youth, international biologists and conservationists. The visitors who came to CCF in Namibia from all over the world met Chewbaaka and did not forget him. Chewbaaka had an innate ability to connect with humans in such a way that they wanted to learn more about the plight of the cheetah. Farmers that used to shoot cheetahs on sight began to work alongside Chewbaaka and me to protect his fellow cheetahs.
Chewbaaka became a touchstone, a tangible symbol of Cheetah Conservation Fund’s vision of a world where humans and cheetahs could thrive together. Visitors to CCF and supporters who met him often tell me that they still remember him, and consider him an inspiration.
Chewbaaka passed away in April of 2011, and it’s a loss I still feel to this day. Several of our key supporters who had met Chewbaaka, and remember his regal bearing and deep gaze, have been inspired to issue the annual CCF Chewbaaka Memorial Challenge and be Challenge Donors. Between now and August 31st, your donations to CCF will be matched dollar-for-dollar by our Challenge Donors, up to a total of $176,000. Your dollars will take us farther and faster in our race to save the cheetah from extinction, and you will help us raise the vital funds we need to fund our work through the middle of the year a time when dontaions typically decline for many non-profit organizations.
Here are just a few of the things that your contributions to CCF have achieved in the past year:
• Support of over 100 Livestock Guarding Dogs currently working with Namibian Farmers. Farmers using a CCF dog see their predation rates go down from all predators by over 80 percent.
• Over a dozen scientifi c research projects underway or completed at our fully functioning genetics research lab -- the only one of its kind in situ at a conservation facility in Africa.
• Rewilding of 8 adults from CCF’s population of resident cheetahs as part of our ongoing research into rewilding and reintroduction, and the re-release of 8 wild cheetahs retrieved at the request of local farmers.
• Collection and analysis of 42 individual cheetah scat samples that were found by our team of 3 detection dogs.
• Our model farming operation has birthed 200 cattle, 46 goats and 42 sheep in this past year. The model farm serves as a means to research and disseminate information about predator-friendly farming techniques. CCF has reached over 3,000 Namibian farmers with its programming in this area.
Please give generously to the 2013 Chewbaaka Memorial Challenge today. Your tax-decuctible donation will honor our beloved Ambassador Chewbaaka, and make real the hope he created in everyone he met.
For Cheetahs Everywhere,
Dr. Laurie Marker