December 4th is International Cheetah Day! It is the birthday of Khayam, a cheetah that Dr. Laurie Marker, Founder of the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), re-wilded to Namibia from Safari West in Oregon in the late 1970s. Through trial and error, she taught Khayam how to hunt. During these early visits to Namibia, Dr. Marker spoke with farmers and local community leaders and learned that cheetahs were being killed. Farmers viewed them as pests. She came back to the United States to find out what "they" (people in conservation) are doing to help cheetahs. To her surprise, no one was doing anything. So because of Khayam and her first trip to Namibia, over time the Cheetah Conservation Fund was created.
Dr. Marker shares a good part of her story and the creation of CCF in our podcast interview. We are re-broadcasting this interview in honor of International Cheetah Day.
The above watercolor sketch was done by Marcia Sivek in the field while working as a guest volunteer at CCF in February 2017. These cards are available for purchase in the store and a $5.00 donation is made to CCF with each purchase.