- Here's how you can volunteer with cheetahs and perhaps earn a cuddle or two from these magnificent creatures
Often times during the workday, I seek entertainment through YouTube and sometimes I stumble upon something so profoundly adorable that it causes me to rethink my life’s choices. This video had me rethinking my entire path in life, moving to Nevada, and buying a puma or cheetah (because you can own wild cats). If I believed in genuine free will (a totally different tangent I won’t go into), then I’d honestly think about doing this at this time.
I can’t say I’m surprised this video has over 15 million views, but I wasn’t expecting to find cheetahs so cuddlesome. The premise of the video starts with the question of whether or not cheetahs prefer to sleep on soft blankets or hard concrete. Of course, we know the answer. Cats are cats, all shapes and sizes.
I don’t think it’s possible to watch this video without squealing in a high-pitched voice every single time the little spoon cheetah nuzzles the neck of its human and proceeds to fall back asleep. OMFG. I’d risk a limb or even death for a cheetah cuddle fest. I mean, if I had to go, getting eaten by cheetahs after a cuddlefest would be a supreme way to go.
But, as it turns out, we too can interact with these amazing creatures. We can volunteer. And actually, it’s pretty safe. I’m kidding about perishing with the cheetahs, but I’m fairly confident that most people who volunteer are aware of such risks and are fine with it.
So How Do You Volunteer with Cheetahs?
The guy in this video dropped a link to this particular organization, the Running Wild Conservation. You can spend weeks with cheetahs in the African sun while also contributing to real conservation efforts. You can volunteer between two and eight weeks and the price of your stay goes down the longer you volunteer. At this particular stay, you’ll be housed in a cozy cabin in the wilderness, and you’ll have to share a room with one other volunteer. But, you can pay 150RB a day to secure your own room.
There’s also internet at an additional cost. It’s definitely not a leisurely vacation, as you’ll be working 6 out of the 7 days, but, your efforts will at least be rewarding and you’ll be able to be around these animals.
Our rewilding facility is only 80 miles from OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, nestled in the foothills of the Magaliesburg Mountain Range, close to the famous Cradle of Humankind World Heritage site.
The Cheetah Conservation Fund
You can also find a ton of volunteer information on the Cheetah Conservation Fund’s website. You can also find a variety of educational resources for cheetahs and their shrinking habitat. They are central in the mission for conservation cheetahs and their diminishing populations on the African continent. They do a lot of work in Namibia.
More so, you can also reserve a spot in one of their many houses or lodges, such as the Cheetah View Lodge.
Once travel resumes, this will be at the top of my bucket list. I really want to experience a true African safari, so I might try to squeeze in a couple of weeks at a Cheetah volunteer sanctuary along the way.
But in the meantime, if all else fails in life, you can always move to Nevada, adopt a mountain lion and start a successful YouTube channel.