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A Day within the Lifetime of a Cat Ambassador Coach on the Cincinnati Zoo

Comfortable Worldwide Cheetah Day! Have you ever ever questioned what it’s prefer to work within the Cat Ambassador Program? Let’s check out what a typical day is like for us and our animals through the Kroger Cheetah Encounter season!

Each morning, we get in at 7:30am. It’s early, however the animals are able to eat! Cheetahs are obligate carnivores, which means that they solely eat meat, so their food regimen consists of floor beef made particularly for cheetahs in human care to make sure they get all of their vitamins. Certainly one of our trainers additionally heads right down to the cheetah habitat by the Base Camp Cafe to deal with our retired runners, Redd and Tom.

After the animals have eaten, it’s time to commerce out the yards. One of many cheetahs may have had the big yard in a single day, so we are going to swap and provides another person their flip. We actually have a fancy chart that we fill in to verify everybody has equal alternatives for coaching, enrichments, applications, farm time, and particular yards. As soon as our animals have full bellies and are arrange someplace enjoyable, we clear their homes.

In the course of the encounter season, we typically arrange our lure system about an hour or so earlier than this system time, simply to verify it’s working for our cats. As we discuss within the encounter, we place the bumpers all through the yard to create a sample for the cheetahs to run after which hook the system as much as the ability supply, which is definitely a ship battery. As soon as the system and props are arrange, we are able to load the animals and prepare for the encounter!

Keep in mind the flamboyant chart I talked about? Now we have one other one to verify the entire cheetahs get equal possibilities to run throughout encounters. In the course of the summer time encounter season, now we have 4 cheetah runs a day (2 per encounter), so we at all times attempt to be strategic about who we choose for each. This ensures that the cheetahs each get time to run (which they love!) and time to relaxation and chill out.

After each applications, all of our animals get lunch. Typically, the cheetahs that run get some or all of their lunch throughout this system, however we give them the remaining (and a few treats). After we be certain that all of our animals have eaten, we take our human lunch.

After lunch, our time may be completely different each single day! That is one in all my favourite components of my job. We get to do coaching classes with our animals, create particular enrichment, play lunge ball (principally an enormous cat toy, however for cheetahs), and even play soccer with Nia, one in all our cheetahs who’s an excellent athlete. Our afternoon is often dedicated to creating particular experiences for our animals. Subsequent time you see us out in one in all our yards, cease by and say hello!

On the finish of the day, we feed everybody their dinner. Whereas everyone seems to be consuming, we examine the temperature and climate in a single day to be sure that we arrange the doorways and all the pieces appropriately to make sure that our animals keep comfy and toasty heat. Identical to within the morning and all through the day, we commerce yards at evening and provides one cat (or typically a cheetah/canine pair, like Kris and Remus) the yard in a single day. One coach goes right down to the habitat to make sure that Redd and Tom are additionally fed and safely tucked in for the evening.

Top-of-the-line components of my job is spending time with our cheetahs. I’m so fortunate to be a coach, zookeeper, and educator, and I hope that I could make folks as enthusiastic about cheetahs as I’m! Sadly, there are lower than 7,500 cheetahs left of their native vary in Africa. Sure, you learn that proper. Fortunately, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Backyard does SO a lot for cheetah conservation. Now we have a cheetah breeding facility proper right here in Cincinnati, out at our Mast Farm in Loveland. Our zoo additionally helps cheetah conservation efforts throughout the globe via applications like Cheetah Outreach, Ruaha Carnivore Mission, and Cheetah Conservation Botswana. Supporting these applications means supporting tasks like giving guard canine to farmers in Africa to guard their livestock, which has considerably decreased livestock loss from cheetahs within the space. This reduces human-wildlife battle and helps to avoid wasting the cheetah.

Should you’re in search of a technique to assist help cheetahs on this Worldwide Cheetah Day, you’ll be able to go to the Cincinnati Zoo or your native AZA-Accredited Zoo or Aquarium. Thanks for checking right into a day right here at our Cat Ambassador Program!

Wish to see this in motion? Take a look at the video under of one in all our trainers caring for our cheetahs through the pandemic when the zoo was closed. Fortunately the zoo is absolutely open once more and we have been capable of do applications this yr! Whereas our Kroger Cheetah Encounter season is over, you’ll be able to nonetheless come out to the zoo and see our stunning PNC Pageant of Lights!

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