What to Expect
CCF Namibia is the headquarters of the Cheetah Conservation Fund. CCF Namibia is located on Eland's Joy, a farm about 30 miles (44km) east of the town Otjiwarongo, and about 3.5 hours drive from Namibia's capital, Windhoek. Eland's Joy has been developed over a number of years into a sophisticated Research & Education Centre, housing three large buildings: a cheetah museum, a research and veterinary clinic which is also the office, and an education hall. Staff housing, volunteer rondavels and student dorms are nearby, with showers/bathrooms located within walking distance. Also nearby is a communal kitchen and dining hall, and a TV/common room. Some staff and volunteers remain in Boskop, one of CCF's farms about 5 miles (8km) from the main center.
CCF Namibia is a collection of working farms as well as housing rescued, orphaned, and on occasion, wild cheetahs. Our farms have sheep, goats and cattle. Annually, we bale hay, fix fences, cut down overgrown bush, feed and care for animals. We breed and actively maintain Anatolian Shepherd guardian dogs. As of the beginning of 2006, we care for 38 resident cheetahs who cannot be re-released due to injury or orphanage. We conduct research, education and training programs. And on a daily basis, we allow day-visitors to visit our museum observe our cheetahs and learn about our programs. In short, it's a very busy place, with many people and animals.
Zookeepers Skills CCF Needs
As of beginning 2006, CCF Namibia cares for 38 resident cheetah that can not be released to the wild due to orphanage, injury or old age. These cheetahs need daily care, which is why CCF is keen to have experienced zookeepers to intern with CCF. Zookeepers can learn much from being at CCF: from insight about our model conservation program, including outreach, education and research, to learning about wild cheetah in Namibia and how we manage our resident cheetah.
Zookeepers that intern at CCF have the main responsibility of caring for our resident cheetahs. Daily work includes preparation of meals, feeding, animal care, general husbandry such as cleaning enclosures, checking the animals' conditions, maintaining fences and enclosures, caring for sick animals and updating the cheetah log/notes. Other tasks zookeepers may include assistance in care and re-release of wild cheetah, soft-release of resident cheetah, tracking cheetah by radio collar, general farm work and training. In addition, keepers will be involved in our guardian dog program.
In conducting these tasks, zookeepers will be assisted by other CCF volunteers, so it is important that you have strong communication skills and can manage several people at once with clear instructions on how to help you. Because of this and because CCF cheetahs are not tame, zookeepers must strictly follow CCF's written protocol for cheetah husbandry. These guidelines will be given to keepers which they are expected to learn, and will be tested on after arrival to CCF.
Zookeepers can apply anytime to volunteer at CCF. Internships of zookeepers typically last 1-3 months, depending on the needs of the host zoo. To qualify for zookeeper internship:
- You must be a full-time, experienced zookeeper.
- You must have at least one year of experience, but preferably longer.
Mandatory Donation (Zookeepers)
Our keeper program is fee-based: because we are a not-for-profit organization relying entirely on donations, all volunteers and student interns and zookeepers are required to make a mandatory donation to CCF to cover the cost of room, board, training and supervision of volunteers. This fee also contributes to the day-to-day costs of running CCF Namibia. It is because of generous donations that we are able to continue to operate our education, outreach and research programs. Sometimes the host zoo is willing to sponsor the internship of their keepers; please check with your employer.
We offer a special fee for zookeepers at CCF. For information about fees, please click here. The fee does not include transportation from Windhoek airport to CCF for which you should budget an additional US$175 (one-way). The fee also excludes the costs of your flights, spending money and personal expenses.
Please note that all payments made to CCF are non-refundable.READY TO APPLY? Click here.