Dolph Volker went to South Africa to work as a volunteer at Cheetah Experience, a sanctuary and breeding center for these incredibly fast, and sad to say, seriously endangered cats. A cheetah can go from zero to sixty in a mere three seconds, so you definitely wouldn’t want one chasing you. But how about a nap under a tree? Could you ever imagine snuggling up with a cheetah?
It only took a few days for a cheetah named Eden to made friends with Volker. “True to Eden’s nature, she warmed up to me in days and ended up really liking me, so much so that I was able to trust her completely. The more she felt comfortable with me, the more she treated me just like another Cheetah which included the grooming, nibbling, biting, pacifying, purring, laying on me, and sleeping… cuddling up close to me. I’m amazed how much more interactive and affectionate Cheetahs are compared to the average domesticated cat.”
We’ve posted a video of Volker enjoying a nap under a tree with Eden the cheetah. As she licks the side of his head, Volker quips, “There’s nothing pleasant about that. The ear’s also bad. My scalp’s… Numb.” It turns out that just like house cats, cheetahs’ tongues are covered in barbs, but on a larger scale! “Cheetahs LOVE to groom and nibble and it helps in bonding with them if you let them. It still hurt and I got slightly bloodied on my face, lips, chin and ears, but it’s what I allowed to happen in order to bond with her.”
After trying to inflict a few more little nibbles, Eden settles down and curls up next to her human friend to enjoy a nap in the shade of the tree. She just keeps on purring, purring and purring.
Would you ever in a million years nap with a cheetah? They’re beautiful animals, but even so… Let us know in the comments at Facebook and be sure to like and share!