PAYING TRIBUTE TO A VERY BRAVE CHEETAH!
AfriCat says good-bye to one of the Adams family – 14 year old Morticia!
Morticia was one of our cheetah ambassadors at AfriCat’s Carnivore Care Centre.
Morticia and her three siblings, Pugsley, Gomez and Wednesday are the four, well-known cheetahs @ AfriCat, also known as ‘The Addams Family’
They were removed from their mother’s womb after she had been shot. They were obviously close to birth as they were fully formed. They quickly took to an artificial diet, but due to their lack of antibodies, which they should have received from their mother’s milk, they had no immune system. They required close monitoring for any sign of illness and were bottle-fed every four hours. As they grew older, rearing them became easier and at six months of age we were fairly confident that the Addams Family was going to make it.
Morticia was the ‘runt’ of the litter! She was the smallest sibling, born with a curled tail and her one front leg was shorter than the other one. She also suffered from arthritis.The Adams family were too tame to ever bereleased into the wild, but they surely represented everything about the cheetah that is kind, gentle and beautiful! The Adams family have charmed children visiting our Care Centre for 14 years now, and everyone left knowing that Morticia was the special one with the curly tail . . .
Last week Morticia’s lack of appetite and the fact that she was drinking an unusual amount of water sent off the alarm-bells. When we presented her with food – she started to salivate and she seemed depressed, so we darted her for a closer look. Blood was taken and a glucose test done. Her left kidney was severely swollen and her right mildly swollen. So too was her liver – The results indicated renal failure and she was suffering, so we decided to end her pain as soon as possible.
Morticia lived a long life and although she spent it in a large enclose at AfriCat – she and her siblings have always been one of the favourites!
We are keeping a watchful eye over Wednesday, Puglsey and Gomez as they too are old, but still have so much to give all the children that visit our project that learn just how unique the cheetah is by spending time with the Adams family from a safe distance – but close enough to hear them purring away when in the company of humans.
RIP Morticia – you will be missed!