Hi, i’m Colette. I’m doing my internship at cheetahexperience. The first time that i was working with cheetah’s i was a bit afraid. Then i met Neo. She was one of the sweetest cheetah’s. She came over and cuddled with me from the first moment. I trust her and she trusts me. It’s unbelievable what a feeling you get when you bonded with a wild animal. You know it’s not safe but if you trust them they will trust you. And Neo, thank you so much for trusting me.
I never thought I would end up here at Cheetah Experience being around wild animals every single day. I am so lucky to have the opportunity to stay here for 3 weeks. The staff members are all wonderful and you can tell how much of they appreciate the volunteers. The volunteers come from all around the world and they are all so nice and welcoming when you first arrive. Being around the animals every day is so much fun. They may be shy around you when you first meet them, or a little bit too excited to meet you, but after a week or so, you notice that they start to recognize you when you come into their enclosure. Last night I spent the night with the 2 leopard boys, Cosmo and Cassius. Once I got everything situated, they both curled up next to me. It was a pretty chilly night, but not when you have 2 leopard cubs curled by your side. They stayed by me the entire night. When I got up to leave, they kept laying on the blankets, hoping I would stay a little bit longer. I was sad to leave them, but I got to babysit them again this morning and they were so happy to see me. I have less than a week here left and I am not looking forward to leaving. I don’t want to leave the staff, the other volunteers, or the animals that I have been around so much in the past 2 weeks. I do hope I get a chance to come back to Cheetah Experience in the future.
Blythe – USA
Last night I got to sleepover with the 3 cheetah cubs, Abigail, Tinashe, and Joyce. The night started off a little rocky, Joyce wasn’t in a good mood. After about 20 minutes of being there though, she settled and laid down next to the mattress I was laying on. Abigail was curled up next to my face, purring for most of the night. She fell asleep with her little paw next to my pillow. It was a very peaceful night, and actually very warm inside the sleeping bag that I used, even though the temperature was freezing outside. I fell asleep for a few hours at a time, but usually woke up when the lions roared and the wolves howled back. Waking up and hearing that was actually really cool and fun. In the morning, right before my alarm went off, Tinashe got on the mattress and laid down right on top of my phone and cuddled with me, his face next to mine. He purred for almost 15 minutes, laying next to me. I was sad to leave in the morning, and overall I had a lot of fun doing a sleepover.
Clara – USA
My name is Sarah, i’m from Belgium and i’m here now for almost 8 weeks. I have one week left. This is such an beautiful opportunity. The relationships you can make with the animals is special and how the animals recognise you when they see you is lovely. I love the leopards and caracals the most. Callista the black leopard purrs always when she sees me and Jupiter, Mercury and Saturn the caracals always runs to me when they see me. It’s a special feeling. And the babysit shifts on the little ones are so amazing! I am so thankful that the people here accept you for who you are. I love to meet new people from all over the world. It is an hard working job here, but you also have a lot of time for the animals and that’s great. I definitely come back here!
Sarah – Belgium
Meerkats are one of my favourite animals. Spending time with them is rewarding when they allow you to pat them whilst they are sunning themselves.
The best time for snuggles with Tia is in the morning before the sun has reached their enclosure. I sit down and she runs up my legs and snuggles into my jumper. Sometimes Simon will jump up too and lay on her keeping her even more snuggly warm.
Enrichment is always fun with them. Watching them scratch at part of a termite mound, eating the termites as they go is pretty cool.
I Learnt a lesson the hard way though not to go from one meerkat enclosure to another. They will smell the other meerkat family on you and they will bite you.
To be able to spend time with these animals is amazing.
Janet – Australia
It snowed at Cheetah Experience!
It has been a bitterly cold day here. The animals were inside and in bed before some of the staff were home! Snowflakes are unique, each has something magnificent about it. Its like the animalsdifferent personalities but each one adds something dynamic to our home.
It was so beautiful to watch the snow falling, to hear the pitter-patter of the sleet landing on earth and to feel the delicate flakes softly fall on your skin and then in an instant, its gonemelted Watching snow is therapeutic.
Priceless therapy is watching our babies frolic in the long grass, hearing them purr or growl when you are close to them and also stroking their soft fur. These are moments when you want to freeze time, maybe capture a snowflake and save it forever.
Snowflakes and crystals exude light and energy. Spending time amongst our furry friends is energising but also peaceful and tranquil. It snowed on our Winter Wonderland today, and it snowed in our hearts too.
August 19th, 2009
It started as a way to fill my gap year, little did I know this little place would take such a big place in my heart. From little things like cleaning the enclosures to interaction with the animals, makes waking up before the sun an easy choice. I was uncertain of my future, of where my life would lead but after just one month of voluntering, I knew where I was heading. The animal kingdom. There is one very important thing I have learned here and that is that we don’t realize how much power we possess. We have the power to make the animal kingdom thrive or make it fall into extinction. Just like Cheetah Experience, I want to help create a better future for our furry friends. I am thankful to be part of this family, pride and pack.
Meraldi – South Africa