Jay & Nicole's Adventures
De Wildt Wildlife Refuge, south Africa - Sept. 2003

(click any picture to get enlargement)

The Group Gathers

The De Wildt Refuge caters to those animal species which are having a hard time in the "real world".  They focus on injury recovery and  reproduction in captivity; our entrance fee helps cover some of their costs.
Classroom Pre-Brief 

Glen gets a close-up of Byron, the tamest Cheetah; nicknamed
"The Ambassador
The local farmers will shoot wild animals. The refuge is using the tame animals as Ambassadors; hopefully after a visit,
  the farmers will begin to accept the animals.  

You can also adopt the animals, but they have to stay at the refuge.

What a stare!  His eyes are saying "please take me home ...so I can eat you!"

 We were all were loaded into open-air vehicles.  The refuge wasn't that big, but it was too dangerous to allow people to walk.

We got strict instructions saying to stay IN the vehicles.  The animals might be friendly with workers, but might not 
be to visitors.   

This might look like a cute pose, but the Cheetah can get up to 60mph within just a few seconds.  

The fur is very nice ...

.. which leads to poaching.

The "King Cheetah"
 is somewhat rare 
and was new to us. 

The pattern is striking and is very different from the 
normal Cheetah.

Can you see the Cheetah eating lunch? 

Mother Nature provides these animals with an incredible camouflage. 

Close-up of lunch

We then came across a herd of Impala.

The impala is nicknamed the "fast food" of the bush, as many animals  make snacks out of them.

The stripes on their butts provide camouflage, and  look like Mc-D's arches. 

Some shy Nyala stopped by and posed for a shot. 

An Ostrich also wanted
to get into the picture. 

Mother Ostrich leading her chicks in search of food.

The Ostriches acted weird & were very entertaining. 

Cute (sort of) teenagers.

Wild Dogs are scavengers which usually don't come out during the day.

They have big ears ... 

... and were unsure of us.

Wild Dog pups are cute, but very vulnerable.

The Hyena is another scavenger often killed on sight.  They have strong jaws for crushing bones.   

The hyenas have a well- developed set of front legs, but their back-end
 is awkwardly built. 

The vultures are also endangered, as no one seems to care about something that is ugly.

Each animal plays a role 
in the food chain, and thus is important to care about.

An Intense Stare (sorry about the poor quality)

Youngster Showing Off.

I have to throw in a few floral pictures, as plants are as important to conserve as are animals. 

Someday I will learn the names of the flowers.....

This youngster is having a "bad hair day".  The refuge produces baby cheetahs for most zoos and parks.

The Cheetahs gave us the best poses, some were cute & others quite scary. 

We had a nice time overall.  The place was safe, easy to find, and the staff was friendly & knowledgeable. 

Goodbye ... and please come again ...
... but next time stay
 ... as dinner! 

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