How the Lure Exercise System Works at CCF
We often get asked about the LURE system at CCF Namibia -how it works and how it helps our resident wild cheetahs get 'exercise' in our VERY LARGE enclosures.
The Cheetah Conservation Fund uses a lure system to exercise cheetahs. The purpose is to keep the cats fit and serves as a great education tool as visitors to the Research Centre are able to see cheetahs in full flight, doing what they are designed for!
The lure system used is produced by: Injoy Wood products, PO Box 21, Charlotte, Vermont 05445, tel: (802) 4253961, USA. It consists of a simple motor, pulleys nailed to the ground and a string to which the "lure" is tied. This system was developed to exercise greyhounds but it works extremely well for cheetahs. The lure should ideally be a soft material that will tear if hooked with a dew claw to minimise the risk of damaging wrists or dew claws. We tear up old t-shirts for the lure and do not use anything with a tight weave.
Our cheetahs are wild caught but are somewhat habituated to people. Some have been trained to take meat treats off a spoon on the end of a stick so we can retrieve the lure once they have caught it. They will chase the rag without the treat as an incentive, catching the rag being the main motivation for running!
Changing the colour of the rag and sometimes the layout of the course can revive flagging interest. The lure system also allows for a direction change by flipping the string. We have the course laid out in a big square roughly 260m long, but could be laid out any way to suit a particular enclosure.
We have run as many as five cats at a time together successfully, in their pen which is 4 hectares big.
Any queries can be directed to the Cheetah Conservation Fund's Cheetah Keepers.
Cheetah Conservation Fund
PO Box 1755
Email the Cheetah Keepers
Tel: +264 (0) 67 306 225
Fax: +264 (0) 67 306 247