Click on picture to enlarge.
Shingwedzi Wildlife Ranch was a big surprise to me. I did not know that this type of establishment exsisted. It was a place where they bred chetahs for sale and took care of wounded vultures, an endangered species and the African dog, also endangered.
They take one baby chetah and raise him (it was always a male, they were much easier to teach) with humans only. They are called ambassadors and enjoy human company. So we could pet him, he was called Zulu, and I did.
It was a strange experience. Zulu enjoyed the petting or better the scratching, the harder the better. I had to scratch him on the back from the shoulder and towards the tale. Zulu purred like a cat, only much stronger. His fur was very stiff, info to whoever is interested.
They had several enclosures with chetahs and we were sitting in an open car driving into one of these with two animals. They got food in a tray close to the car, so the chetahs came very close.They are beautiful animals.
It was a very special experience to be that close to such wild animals. OK, they were not completely wild, but they certainly were not tame.
The vulture is an endangered spiece for two reasons, first the farmers are placing poisoned carcasses to get the vultures away from their farms, the second they were often wounded after colliding with power lines etc. We saw a cage with two birds, one was severely brain damaged from poison and the second had lost its left wing after colliding with a power line.
It was sad to see them, but part of their behaviour was both sad and comical. As can be seen they had a tree they climbed and sat on the branches. But they still thought they could fly so they regularly threw themselves into the air and fell like rocks. And they did that several times a day!
It was a visit I enjoyed. I never expected to be that close to these animals and I also liked to experience something I didn’t know about.