Cheetah Conservancy Fund Stops in the Desert

Dr. Laurie Marker speaks on Africa’s most endangered big cat



Johari, the cheetah, with Dr. Laurie Marker (right) at the private Rancho Mirage home of Roswitha Smale.

Photo by Ann Greer

 

Conservationists and zoos such as the Living Desert work together to ensure the survival of species that may otherwise become extinct.

After an engagement at the Living Desert, Dr. Laurie Marker from the Cheetah Conservation Fund spoke at the private Rancho Mirage home of Roswitha Smale on the plight of the cheetah, Africa’s most endangered big cat.

“We’ve lost over 90 percent of the world’s wild population in the past 100 years. And if we don’t act now, we might lose the cheetah forever,” Marker says.

She added how impressed she was with how healthy the cheetahs at the Living Desert are. Marker works closely not only with the Living Desert, but also with zoos and their breeding programs around the world.

Smale hosted the late afternoon fundraiser for the local chapter of Dr. Marker’s Cheetah Conservation Fund. Living Desert board members Sandy Woodson and Mary Lou Solomon were among the listeners.

After tasty treats from Jake’s Palm Springs, guests gathered outside to not only learn about the cheetah, but to see, watch and hear Johari, a beautiful 5-year-old female cheetah from the San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park.

The 85-pound Johari came with her constant companion, a 5-year-old Anatolian Shepherd canine who weighs in at 135 pounds. It was thrilling to hear Johari purr with contentment. The dog is dominant, and as long as the dog is calm, then of course Johari stays calm and doesn’t get nervous around people. They were accompanied by three “handlers”, who stroked the cheetah and gave her little bits of lean meat to eat.

Known as the world’s fastest land animal, the cheetah can reach 60 to 70 mph in as little as four seconds. There are only 10,000 left in the wild, and approximately 1,600 in captivity.

“The cheetahs are running the most important race of their lives – survival,” Marker tells the crowd. “We’re based in Namibia, where the world’s largest population of wild cheetahs lives, and everything we do is aimed at creating a thriving ecosystem so that cheetahs and humans can live together.”

Visit www.cheetah.org for more information.

Add your comment:
Desert Scene

Related Articles

United Way of the Desert Recognition & Kick Off Luncheon

The United Way of the Desert has set a fundraising goal of $1.5 million for 2014-15 following an announcement at its Recognition & Kick Off Luncheon on Sept. 12.

Lasers Light Up Fantasy Springs Bowling Center

Turn off the lights at Fantasy Springs Bowling Center at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, and one of America’s oldest recreational sports literally illuminates a whole new persona - laser bowling.

The Purple Room Audience May Recognize Shelagh Ratner's Voice First

Once she appears Sept. 20 at The Purple Room Restaurant & Stage in Palm Springs, it’s likely audience members will have an “aha!” moment upon hearing Shelagh Ratner’s voice.

Charles Busch Brings His Own Show to Copa Palm Springs

Charles Busch, who has portrayed female characters for most of his theater career, will personify Old Hollywood in his solo desert show debut.

Max Adler Delves into Gay Character Again With 'Saugatuck Cures'

Max Adler, known for his breakout role on 'Glee', has a busy fall in store between three films and two TV shows, but locally he can be seen in 'Saugatuck Cures' during Cinema Diverse Palm Springs.

Promotions + Contests

Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.
Enter to Win A Celebrate Dance Experience!

Enter to Win A Celebrate Dance Experience!

Enter just once for a chance to win tickets to one of the second annual Palm Desert International Dance Festival performances.