Life on the farm at Cheetah Experience in Bloemfontein continues to be positive, despite the lockdown keeping away visitors and volunteers.
According to co-ordinator at the lions’ side, Claire Lamond, they have had several “animal birthdays” during the last few weeks and there is no better way to celebrate than being able to provide some nice fresh meat for the animals to enjoy.
Lamond told Bloemfontein Courant that the local community really rallied behind the last call for food for the animals. The breeding centre received calls about chicken, cow and game and can thankfully report that the freezer soon began to look happier.
Lamond further explained that the young cheetahs have all turned one and were treated to a piece of horse meat. Sahara, the cheetah, turned six and loved the cake made from zebra meat, Faith and Adamu turned seven and had a cake made from donkey meat and chicken, and the wings of the ostrich also made great enrichment for the tigers and lions.
“Nothing goes to waste where we can help it. If it cannot be used as food, we try to use it for enrichment and we always want to honour the lives that have passed,” she said.
Lamond added that the animals are getting used to the quietness on the farm, but definitely do miss the volunteers and visitors as they are used to people always being around. Some of them definitely miss it more than others.
“Staff members make every effort to ensure that all of the animals get love and attention throughout the day. We make a special effort to sit with those who are missing the attention, as well as providing enrichment to entertain them,” she said.
According to her, due to the lockdown extension and regulations, they are continuing to accept meat donations, including cow, horse, donkey, meat chickens and game. The meat is required to be fresh and if the animal has been given medication, they will need to consult with their vet to see if the meat is still able to be safely consumed.
Farmers who are able to donate, can call the Cheetah Experience on 072-905-3457 to let them know they have a carcass donation for them and arrangements for drop off or collection will then be made.
Lamond concluded that currently their second, larger freezer is not working as it should and should anyone is perhaps able to help regarding this, it will be appreciated if they will please call 079-155-5917.