Man Reunites With His Beast Buddy After A Year Apart
After more than a year apart, an animal advocate has reunited with his best friend – a CHEETAH. Dolph C. Volker, 50, has volunteered at the Cheetah Experience Breeding Centre in Bloemfontein, South Africa, on and off for over four years.
Despite living in America, and spending little time with the animals at the breeding centre, Dolph has managed to create a special bond with one of the male cheetahs, Gabriel. Dolph often goes a full year without seeing his best buddy – but the predator recognises him almost immediately and remembers all of the things they used to do together. And during his time at the sanctuary in January 2018, Dolph managed to hand-feed Gabriel and spend the entire night sleeping next to him out in the open.
“It takes a long time to reach an imprinting and bonding relationship with a wild animal. A wild predator, “ Dolf says. “I’ve been volunteering now at Cheetah Experience for over four years. It started when Gabriel was a cub and I got to know him at eight months old. It was an absolute joy. We became super friends.”
Gabriel is super special to Dolf for a multitude of reasons, but the main one is fulfilling his lifelong dream. Dolf always wanted to befriend a predator. The big cat remembered all the special things they liked to do, like getting up close, putting his paws on Dolf’s shoulders and grooming him.
Cheetah Experience is a registered, non-profit cheetah-breeding centre that also takes care of leopards, lions, a tiger, servals and caracals.