Growing up Tavi

This is Tavi’s chronicle.  Follow along as he grows and reaches new milestones on his way to becoming a teacher about cheetah conservation.

October 17, 2021

Nature can be cruel.  Often when a single cub is born, or becomes a singleton from the litter dying, mother cheetahs will abandon the cub or stop lactating.

Meet Tavi (“good” in Aramaic and named in honor of our Beloved Victor and his pseudo-sibling Tango).  As Tavi was a singleton with no mom or litters his age to cross foster, a decision was made to hand raise him to save his life.

We are blessed at Wild Wonders to be chosen as Tavi’s forever home.  Tavi has been doing great, and today was the first time he was introduced on social media.  He’s getting round-the-clock care by our staff, and check-ups and vaccinations from the vet regularly.

Tavi Cheetah Cub

October 27, 2021

Today we began working on leash training with Tavi.  This is a hugely important milestone for him.  In his role of teaching people about cheetah conservation, he will need to comfortable being outside his habitat.

Cheetah cub Tavi

October 29, 2021

Prior to today, Tavi and his new companion, Yara, had only seen each other through a window or a screen.  Today, we began their face to face introduction with them being together for a short amount of time.  It went well, and we will gradually increase the time they spend together.

Yara, which means “Brave and Strong” and “Water Lady”, was one of 8 in a litter of Labrador pups.  No one wanted her because she has a black spot on her forehead, but we thought her “cheetah spot” was perfect!

Yara will help Tavi learn to be brave.  Having a dog as a playmate will give him confidence, which is much needed in his role of teaching people about cheetah conservation.

November 2, 2021

Cheetahs are native to Africa, where there are lots of other amazing animals.  Download and enjoy the nearby puzzle to identify some neighbors of wild cheetahs.


November 15, 2021

Tavi is spending almost all day outside now in his nursery habitat with his keepers.  He loves wheat grass which is donated to Wild Wonders by Pet Greens in San Marcos.

In this photo, you can really see the “mantle” which is the spiky hair on his head and back.  This is common for cheetah cubs, and scientists think this makes them resemble a fierce honey badger, and thus deters predators.

Yara is doing well with her leash and harness.  She is very smart and has already learned “Sit”, “Stay” and “Lay down”.

We’re continuing to slowly introduce them.  

December 2, 2021

Here’s a great photo of Tavi and Yara.  We’re still proceeding slowly with their introductions, but we are very pleased with their progress.

Look how much he’s grown!

Cheetah cub and companion

December 5, 2021

You’ve heard the phrase “cat’s pajamas”.  Have some fun with the downloadable craft activity where you can color some great pajamas for our paper cheetah!  Parents – be sure to help your little one with the scissors!

December 16, 2021

Sometimes you just need to lay down in a sunny spot.

December 25, 2021

Happy Holidays from Tavi and Yara.

December 29, 2021

Growing up quickly!

February 20, 2022

Six months old!

March 3, 2022

Tabletop work with lead keeper Anna.  This is a crucial task for him to master so he can be a relaxed ambassador for his species.

March 5, 2022

The two BFFs.  Wow!  They’ve really grown.