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Toki Ventures Out

September 15, 2004 Belinda Low

It is now a month since Toki nearly lost his life in an attack by the three cheetah brothers on Lewa. He successfully fought off a severe infection and is now regaining his condition. The treatment of his wounds and his antibiotic course were stopped ten days ago. We continued to monitor his temperature and appetite (as these are good indicators of health) in case going off the antibiotics caused any further infections.

We also started taking Toki for walks during the day but always making sure that he came back to the enclosure at night. There was a lot of discussion as to how we would entice him back in the evenings as in his current condition he would not be able to escape the potentially dangerous situations that wild cheetahs come across every day. The tactic that Stephen came up with was very clever: we would feed him so that he wasn't too full not to be able to move, but also not hungry enough to want to hunt. So this was really an experiment and so far it has worked. In fact, Stephen just calls to Toki and he willingly follows Stephen back to the enclosure but on arrival at the enclosure he will jump onto the roof and refuse to go inside! This is when a small morsel of meat comes in handy and it does the trick every time.

Toki has actually tried hunting a couple of times, but has so far been unsuccessful. This has been due to the fact that he still has a lot of muscle to build up which takes time, so we are hopeful that he will be able to hunt over the next week or so. Stephen has also been filming Toki's progress with a video-camera that was sent over by Simon King. We are letting Toki recover to his full self in his own time and in the meantime we continue to discuss the options for his future.