For years, Parco Natura Viva has been involved in the conservation of cheetahs, both by raising public awareness about the protection of this species and by supporting the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), a non-profit foundation dedicated to safeguarding this species in the wild.
Funded in Namibia in 1990 by Dr Laurie Marker, CCF is the institution par excellence for the conservation of cheetahs and their natural habitat and is dedicated to the development of best practices in the fields of research, conservation and education in order to decrease the conflict between wild animals and local communities. CCF carries out various conservation and habitat restoration activities, it raises two breeds of dogs, the Anatolian shepherd and Kangal, so that they may help local farmers to protect their livestock from cheetahs, thus reducing their killing. At CCF’s research and education centre, education and awareness programmes for local populations are carried out, as well as training courses for students, and for farmers and shepherds. Furthermore, the centre implements research and monitoring activities of cheetahs’ wild populations, along with studies on the genetics of the species at the Life Technologies Conservation Genetics Laboratory, the only fully equipped genetic laboratory in a conservation centre in Africa.
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The Cheetah Conservation Fund also hosts some individuals arrived as orphan cubs, injured or kept as pets for several years. Through a rehabilitation programme some cheetahs are reintroduced in nature, however for some of them this is not a possibility and they remain at the centre as ambassadors of this incredible species.