14th July 2024
Environment & Conservation News

Wildlife Photographer Wakes Up From A Nap Under A Tree With… A Sleeping Cheetah Against Him

Wildlife Photographer Wakes Up From A Nap Under A Tree With… A Sleeping Cheetah Against Him

Imagine dozing off under the shade of a tree after a taxing day out in the sun, only to wake up to the gentle nudge of a wild cheetah snuggling against you. This isn’t the start of a fable or a campfire story. It’s what happened to Dolph Volker, a wildlife photographer and animal enthusiast, during one of his volunteering stints at Cheetah Experience, a sanctuary for endangered species in South Africa.

Volunteering with a Purpose

Dolph’s journey with animals began much like anyone’s affection for their pets. After the loss of his beloved dog, Dolph found a renewed mission in life: advocating for animal rights and raising awareness about endangered species. His commitment led him to Cheetah Experience, where lions, leopards, servals, and of course, cheetahs find refuge from the threats they face in the wild.

A Nap to Remember

The memorable encounter took place on a particularly sunny day, when all Dolph wanted was a brief escape from the relentless sun. He found solace under a tree, not knowing that he would soon share his makeshift bed with a curious cheetah named Eden. As he slept, Eden approached him, likely intrigued by his presence, and decided to settle next to him for a nap. The slight nudges from Eden eventually woke Dolph, who was stunned but delighted by the trust and affection shown by this majestic creature.

Capturing the Moment

With his camera by his side, Dolph didn’t miss the opportunity to document this extraordinary event. The photos and videos he captured show Eden displaying an unexpected gentleness, nuzzling against him, playfully biting, and even licking him. These tender interactions have not only strengthened his bond with the cheetahs he works to protect but have also made him a beacon of hope for animal conservationists worldwide.


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