Regardless of the journey and full emergence into a strange culture, the entire purpose of the adventure was to help save a single species.  Working directly with cheetahs is an incredible experience, and we started our hands-on work with a large group of adorable and rambunctious cubs!  Hargeisa nights can be cold, and the cubs, ranging in age from 10 weeks to 3 months, were kept overnight in the veterinary hospital.  Growing accustom to their outdoor exercise yard…Let’s just say the next morning they were ready to explore and get into trouble.  We made some enrichment items from string, cereal boxes, and toilet paper rolls.  Lorretta, of course, created a beautifully designed “chicken” which was much better received than Jarod’s oddly shaped “hippo.” The cubs had fun regardless, and we provided exercise and a good distraction while each one underwent their daily exam and weighing.  We also started drafting a simple, yet very effective, training protocol for the older cheetahs in preparation for their eventual move to the new safe house (more on that later!).  Afterword, we visited a fellow rehab facility nearby which housed two kudus, a gerenuk, stork, two hooded vulture, and six more rescued cheetahs, one of which belonging to the son of the former prime minister.  We also helped apply a fresh leg wrap to a very grateful donkey after his recent partial amputation. As a reminder, this entire initiative is operated by volunteers from all over the world.  And this day, we welcomed another team member from Romania.  Dora, a vet tech and animal care inspector from their equivalent of the USDA, was stuck in Dubai in transit for four days!! People are going to great lengths to help this cause!!
This was a beautiful chicken, but the first thing to go was its head!
The cubs require daily exams, weights and medications.
So many kittens in need of help and these are the lucky ones that were rescued.