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Man Takes a Nap With Affectionate Female Cheetah

Dolph C. Volker is a volunteer at the Cheetah Experience in South Africa and wanted to show how affectionate the big cats can be. He writes, “Many people see Cheetahs hunting, running, killing, resting, or raising their young in documentaries, TV, or zoos. I wanted to show people the up-close and personal side of Cheetahs. I was pleasantly surprised how wonderful their personalities can be. Cheetahs are not considered a ‘social’ cat but they love, display affection, love attention (the tamed ones) and very interactive.”

In the video below, he meets with Eden, who warms up to him quickly. “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,” describes Volker. “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.”

Eden is not part of the sanctuary’s breeding program, but has an important role looking after a handicapped Cheetah named Faith and is like a therapy animal for Faith. Volker adds, “Eden is great therapy for ANYONE, regardless if you have a problem or not. You can’t help but fall in love with her, and she you.”

After his encounters, Volker has an entirely different outlook on cheetahs. “I had no idea Cheetahs were so special,” he says. “I’ve fallen in love with them. It’s an incredible species that truly deserves help, support, and protection.”