This week I’m featuring photograph of a lovely cheetah taken in Ethiopia by Dave Cole from Cook Sip Go Blog.
Dave is an American travel blogger and photographer based in Nairobi Kenya who loves experiencing new cultures, cuisines and wildlife. I have been following his adventures for a while and you should too! Find him on Twitter and Facebook.
Picture Story: Born Free Foundation and lovely cheetahs
I had been based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for a few months when some friends invited me to visit a place called Born Free Foundation. The centre is located about an hour west of the capital. Born Free is a UK organization that is dedicated to the care and rehabilitation of injured and orphaned animals. Regional office in Ethiopia was opened back in 2008 and has since provided a better future to dozens of animals in dire straits.
During an afternoon at Born Free, I learned about the lions, cheetahs and baboons currently in the facility’s care. Some of these animals had been taken from their natural habitats and kept in private residences and under inhumane conditions. The knowledgeable staff explained the history and rehabilitation plan for each animal.
The first animals we met were several cheetahs in a spacious pen. As we approached the fence at one end, the cheetah in the picture above walked calmly towards us. We were only a foot or two away from the cat when it started rubbing up against the fence and purring. It was tempting to reach out and touch the sweet cheetah, but Born Free Foundation is under no circumstances a petting zoo (for the benefit of the animals and the limbs of the visitors). The center also serves as an important educational tool for visiting schoolchildren from Addis Ababa.
In addition to learning about and admiring the animals at Born Free Foundation, the forest nearby is perfect for an afternoon of hiking under its leafy canopies and hills. The remains of abandoned buildings in the woods make for some excellent exploring and views of the Ethiopian countryside. But even with a distinct activity following the sanctuary visit, my mind was still filled with the images of the wildlife I had just met and I was full of hope for the future of the animals.