Celebrate International Cheetah Day

by Inga Yandell

A Spot In Your Heart

December 4th is International Cheetah Day. It is our chance to celebrate a unique species (did you now: cheetahs are unrelated to any of the 36 other cat species, they have their own genus—one critical factor in their survival is this lack of genetic diversity) and support research and conservation which strengthens their chance for survival.

Possibly the most famous advocate for the species is Dr. Laurie Marker, who in 1974 began work as a veterinary nurse at a preserve for endangered animals in Winston, Oregon—and today travels the world inspiring collaborative and creative conservation solutions to address the unique challenges of the cheetah. Her enduring passion has helped generate global awareness and interest in the science and conservation obstacles which threaten this beautiful cat. And her approach to engaging children and local communities with the discovery and preservation process, has lead to the establishment of: the only fully equipped genetics lab and training facility in Africa, international chapters of the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), fundraising events for artists and athletes, and innovation symposiums seeking to solve habitat loss, biodiversity and breeding obstacles.

One of the biggest hurdles to the survival of the cheetah and all engendered species lies in our perception of our ability to make a difference.

We may not possess the resources or expertise of someone like Dr. Laurie Marker, but we can share her passion, change our perspective and value our own unique contribution to their survival.

For some this could mean hosting a fundraiser, joining a local chapter, subscribing to updates from the CCF, supporting one of CCF’s 35 orphan cheetahs, donating to research or rewilding projects, using social media to educate and inspire others—it all counts!

However you choose to contribute, keeping a spot in your heart for the cheetah this December 4th is beautiful way to celebrate this unique cat.

Learn about the CCF and Dr. Laurie Marker’s 2016 Australian Tour: www.cheetah.org

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Inga Yandell
Explorer and photo-journalist, passionate about nature, culture and travel. Combining science and conservation with investigative journalism to provide educational resources and a platform for science exploration.
Inga Yandell

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