Meet-a-Cheetah

Read on as Michael from our IT team meets a Cheetah!

Meetah Cheetah!!! What’s it like to meet the world’s fastest land mammal, able to reach speeds over 100km? How would you feel about patting and playing with one of the animal kingdoms most terrifying hunters?

Well on the October long weekend my wife and I had a chance to answer these questions (and test our nerves) while Meeting a Cheetah at Canberra’s National Zoo & Aquarium.

We arrived at the zoo in the early afternoon, received our ‘cheetah’ wristbands and headed through the park to the Cheetah enclosure.

The first encournter

The first encournter

There, we were greeted by friendly zookeepers who gave us a quick briefing on the do’s and don’ts of cheetah handling before introducing us to Shasa – a gorgeous female cheetah.

We were initially quite nervous about getting so close to the big cat in its own territory, but after a few reassuring words from the zookeeper we moved in slowly, knelt down beside Shasa and began gently patting her on the back. Her fur was extremely soft and gradually we gained enough confidence to stroke her underneath the chin where we could feel the vibration of her purr.

Shasa

Shasa

Amazing!

At one stage Shasa sat up which caught me by surprise because up until this point I hadn’t realised just how tall she was – almost as tall as me!!

Look how tall she is!

Look how tall she is!

It is fair to say that for the entire encounter I was in absolute awe of this majestic creature and amazed at her easy going nature and willingness to let us play with her.

The zookeepers were extremely helpful, insightful and more than happy to take as many pictures of us with Shasa as we liked. We gave Sasha a final pat and left the enclosure with wide smiles, a camera full of unbelievable photos and a fantastic memory of our time in Canberra.

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