February was a very busy month at Wildlife Safari with four birthdays! Khayam and Mchumba, our brother and sister ambassador pair, and Pancake and Dayo, our youngest ambassadors!
Khayam and Mchumba, Wildlife Safari’s four-year-old cheetah ambassadors – Photo courtesy of Danielle Berthold
Pancake and Dayo had birthday celebrations on the 28th. Although they had different parents, they actually share a birthday! As its their first birthday, the entire park was super excited for the event, and guests came from all over to see them.
“They’ve grown so much!” says Mikaely Riley, one of the Cheetah Keepers involved with raising the pair. “They really do behave just like siblings. Dayo loves to try and play when Pancake is napping – much to her frustration, but they are very affectionate to each other.”
Although they get along very well, they both have their unique personalities. Pancake is a fast learner with her training, and has a characteristic squeaky purr that has her keepers charmed. Dayo is a bundle of joy, always happy to see you and ready to play – especially if there are snacks!
Pancake and Dayo, our cheetah-puppy ambassador pair when they were much smaller
Friends right from the start, this is small Pancake and Dayo sharing a toy
Carnivore Lead, Jordan Bednarz has enjoyed watching them grow together. “While Dayo and Pancake had a period of adjusting to each others ways it’s amazing to see that they really have become the best of friends,” he says. “I’m very much looking forward to working with them until their next birthdays and beyond.”
A typical cat, Pancake has always loved nap time
Khayam and Mchumba turned 4 years old on the 29th. As leap year cubs this year is actually their first real birthday! Getting lots of love, attention and snacks from their keepers is part of their everyday life, but keepers made sure to make the day special for them.
Khayam and Mchumba relaxing together – a sibling already there never stops them from laying in their favorite spot…
“It has been such an experience to work with these two very different ambassador groups and watch them grow,” says Bednarz. “Despite Khayam and Mchumba being siblings they each have quite different personalities.”
A much younger Khayam and Mchumba chasing after a ball