July 16th, 2014
People say your home is where your heart is, and my heart definitely lies here at Cheetah Experience. Ever since I heard about Cheetah Experience, I knew I wanted to come here. What I didn’t know was how much I would love it here or how quickly time flies when you are doing something you love or how long I would want to stay. I have met so many amazing people who are so accepting, kind, and compassionate. I have met animals here with so many different personalities and unique characteristics. The people and animals at Cheetah Experience are part of my family now, and families stick together. With my animal family I’ve walked leopards, caracals, and cheetahs; I’ve received kisses from cheetahs, servals, caracals, leopards, wolves, and even meerkats; I’ve had sleepovers with cheetahs and a baby leopard; I’ve made new friends with all these animals. With my human friends, I’ve gone on random adventures, I’ve had a picnic in the lion house, I’ve gone to the cinema, I’ve made stick bread at a Braai, and I’ve made friends that will last a lifetime. Although I must leave in a week, I know that I will be back. And next time I will plan my trip accordingly. I will stay much longer than seven weeks, and I will once again be reunited with my home and my second family. The memories and friendships I have made here will always stay with me. My Cheetah Experience family is my second home.
Kelsey – USA
July 15th, 2014
At this time last year, I came to Cheetah Experience for the very first time. It was an amazing experience. What amazed me the most is how the animals very quickly recognise each individual person and will joyfully come to greet them every morning. It is impossible to describe the feeling you get when an enormous male lion sees you from afar, gets up, makes kitten-like sounds and rushes to greet you. Sometimes – when you’re lucky – he will even give you a lovely (yet a little slobbery) kiss through the fence. J
When I decided to come back to CE this year, I was especially excited to see my favourite animals all grown up. I was also very curious to see if any of them would remember me. I think some of them do (I received two beautiful lion kisses the very first time I came to the fence), some don’t (last years’ younger cubs) and with others it is still not clear whether they do or do not. However, the one thing that hasn’t changed is the way these animals react when they see familiar and even new faces. They are enthusiastic about getting to know you. They trust and love you very quickly.
Is an enclosure the ideal place for a lion, a leopard or a cheetah? Of course not, they all deserve to roam free in their natural habitat, and that is what we are all trying to accomplish one day for them. But in the meantime, I think the animals of Cheetah Experience love and respect humans because everyone here loves and respects them as well. The well-being of these animals is always the first priority. The very dedicated staff and the volunteers enrich the lives of these animals as best as they can every day, any way they can. It is beautiful to see how trusting, appreciative and loving the animals of Cheetah Experience are.
Chantale – Canada
June 28th, 2014
When I first came to Cheetah Experience I was excited by a lot of things. But the animal that stole my heart right away was the black leopard cub, Luna. She is about 5 months now and she is still learning how to be a leopard. She is the most amazing little ninja I have ever seen. But she is still learning how not use her claws while she is playing with us. But the “love wounds” are worth it. She is really lovely and cuddly, but at times she is just pure crazy. But I love all her ways.
I decided that I wanted to sleep out with her after babysitting her for a week. My and I went to the farm at 8pm and she was already awake and playful. We decided to wear her out a bit and then when we started to put down our blankets and pillows she started to attack them. After a bit we laid down, and we learned fast that we were sleeping out with a leopard, and that you must always have one eyed open when you are around leopards no matter what size they are.
Every time we laid down she started to stalk us, luring beside us and jumping on our heads. So we needed to play with her some more. After a while she started to groom herself then she fell asleep. We laid down and fell asleep too. After a couple of hours I felt some soft paws walking up my back and I could feel her stalking me again. I put my head under the blankets so she couldn’t see my face. But she walked around my head and pushed it up. When she saw my face you could see her light up. She really wanted to play again. She jumped me when I sat up. And I played with her some more. After a while she just fell asleep under my cover and so did I. she woke both me and My up a couple of times during the night. But it was really amazing to share that with Luna. She is my little bundle of joy. I try to spend at least on hour with her a day, where I let her climb trees and jump on stuff. We also walk in the field so she can explore and see new things. She is at that age where she needs to learn how to do stuff like climbing, and with climbing she needs to learn how to get down. And sometimes learn how to fall. She needs to learn that playing with her claws and teeth are not okay with us. And that NO means no. It’s a hard process to do sometimes. But I love seeing her grow. She learns fast and even though I think I learn more from her then she does for me. I really like spending time with her. I’m leaving in 2weeks and I really want to see her in her new enclosure. I really think she will love it. And I know she is going to grow up to be an amazing leopard that can show people why these animals are so special.