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BE PARTNER │ PSA


There is nowhere else in the world quite like the Cheetah Conservation Fund.


They are very welcoming to new interns, are extremely helpful, and provide wonderful guidance to those wanting to learn. The work environment at CCF is very fast paced and demanding, but the staff really do a lot to provide help and guidance to interns when needed.


Here I am applying Frontline to the four OK ambassadors.


I thoroughly enjoyed working with the staff of CCF, and have developed lasting friendships with many of them.


Typically, when interns first arrive at CCF they begin with general tasks and responsibilities and as time goes on, they fall into more specialized work and more independent responsibilities based on the skills they have to offer and where the staff thinks they will be most beneficial.


In my case, I started off doing lots of maintenance type work, because of my previous skill set and abilities, and husbandry work with CCF’s goat herd and guardian dogs. As time progressed, I began to assist the husbandry team with cheetah runs (exercising captive cheetahs with a lure machine) and I started helping the ecology department by collecting camera trap data from the field.


The most unique responsibility I had (and definitely one of my favorites) was my work with CCF’s ambassador cheetahs “in training”, the Okakarara cubs.


These four young cheetahs were orphaned at a very young age and are being raised as “ambassadors”, which are cheetahs that CCF uses as education animals. We would take them on walks daily to meet the visitors that day, and use them to teach about the cheetah and the work CCF is doing to save the cheetah.


During the last month or so of my internship, the care of these ambassadors was my primary responsibility. The experience was incredible, and I feel extremely fortunate to have gotten such a unique opportunity as an intern.


Though much of your work as an intern at CCF is independent, you do work closely with the staff. CCF’s staff is an incredible group of people who are a pleasure to work with, and I think it’s impossible not to learn new things from them.


I’m now back in the United States, eagerly awaiting the day I get to return. I learned more during my weeks there than I thought possible, but with the learning atmosphere CCF provides I think this proves true for most interns. I gained knowledge and skills in things like best practices in cheetah husbandry to effective field research methods and gained useful experience in things from public education to how a non- profit conservation organization is operated; much of which can’t be learned in the classroom.


I’m honest when I say my time there was life changing, as it has provided a sharp sense of direction in my professional life and long- term career aspirations, and has proven to be a “jump-start” to my wildlife career. Words can’t express how grateful I am to CCF and their staff for providing such a meaningful and beneficial opportunity.


I don’t yet know where life will take me, but even if I was never to return to the Cheetah Conservation Fund (which is very unlikely) it will always be a part of me.


Volunteering at CCF


CCF welcome students with all kinds of backgrounds/courses of study: biology, animal science, conservation biology, ecology, veterinary studies but also more areas such as business studies, computing, education, graphic design, comparative history studies, sociology, psychology and other areas.


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. Learn more at: http://www.cheetah.org/?nd=volunteer


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