So today started of as a pretty boring day, I had nothing better to do so I accompanied my mum to a meeting. She told me on the way that this man we were going to meet had Cheetah’s and he took them hunting every Friday. I was intrigued…Cheetah’s as pets?! Its more common here then anywhere else I know but they are normally cubs and sadly they are usually housebound on a ball and chain. I’ve seen them walking around house parties before its really sad but this man apparantly let them live somewhat wildly.
We got to his office, my mum was talking business but while she was filling in a form I took the opportunity to talk Cheetah’s with him. “I would love to see these Cheetah’s, do you have a picture?”. “Oh you like Cheetah’s? They live around here.” I replied…”OMG REALLY…I would love to see them!” Half an hour later we are in a compound in the middle of the desert…somewhere behind Al Awir. It was huge, he had 2 Cheetahs, 12 greyhounds, a pitbull, 2 horses and a gazelle that the Cheetah’s caught last weekend. Apparantly they bring back animals alive and he gives them the ones he doesn’t want to eat or to keep as pets.
He raced dogs and took me to his “dogs hospital” which reeked so I asked to be excused, thank god he wasn’t offended he thought it was funny.
Anyways the Cheetah’s compound had a gate, he explained he would send one of his groundskeepers in with us but because he was dressed in A dish dash, (the local white dress) he would get attacked so he said he would wait away from the compound as they would get riled up even if they saw him. Its not that they’re racist haha, its the sudden movement of flowing clothes. I know because when I went to a Lion park in South Africa, they were all going for me because my animal print skirt kept blowing in the wind.
Anyways, I walked in, the Cheetahs were right there. They were just lying calmly under these two trees, I asked the guy if I could touch them, he couldn’t speak English but I think he said yes so I slowly walked up to them. My mum and him were behind me, he gestured for me to sit down next to it. I bent down and one of them suddenly leapt up and moved away, the other one lay there so I slowly reached out my arm and stroked him while the keeper tried to calm the other one down. My mum kept encouraging me, she was really excited, she loves animals and she didn’t seem even a little nervous. I was scared on the way in and she kept telling me not to worry, then I pointed out she was wearing red so if anyones gonna remind them of food it would be her haha. I asked the keeper if he had a weapon just in case…he said NO…the owner said he wasn’t coming because he didn’t wanna get attacked..it made me pretty scared walking in but they were lying there so calmly that when I saw them I felt calm too. The Cheetah didn’t even mind me touching his ears and face.
I swapped with my mum so she could play with them while I took pics. Then I asked the keeper to take one of us both. I sat behind my mum and put my hand on the Cheetah’s back and he suddenly jumped up and snapped for my hand. He was growling and barring his teeth. I don’t know if I was frozen with fear or whether my brain was telling me not to make sudden movements but either way I very still. My mum was talking to him “calm down, your so beautiful, don’t worry baby”
” I was like “mother step awaaay” haha, she was literally inches from his face looking him in the eyes and she thought it was calming him down while I thought he was about to bite her face. He suddenly flashed his teeth at her and growled and I was like “we need to go now!” I did flash a pic of them in there angry hunting pose (look at his face!!) as we slowly walked away (I wanted to run lol) but yea…..walking into a Cheetah’s cage is probably something I won’t be doing again but it was definitely an amazing experience.
Cheetah’s cage, Lion’s cage, Shark’s tank all crossed of the bucket list 🙂