Rare Cat Sits for a Cameo Appearance

Laurie Marker and the object of her mission.

Part-time Laguna Beach resident Alison Ravano discovered the work of the Cheetah Conservation Fund through her 8-year-old daughter, researching online for a homework assignment about the spotted feline.

Since then, Ravano, who lives in London, joined the Namibia-based charity’s board in the United Kingdom, one of eight countries where the fund has established chapters since its founding in 1990.

Without the effort of a safari or the barriers of a zoo enclosure, Southern California supporters and board members of the organization will encounter a cheetah outside the wild at Ravano’s Irvine Cove home this Saturday, Oct. 8, at a $125 per person dinner.

Victor, along with two handlers, will make a brief appearance, Ravano said, joining the event’s principal attraction, the fund’s founder, cheetah expert Dr. Laurie Marker.

“Support for the charity is strong in the U.S.,” Ravano said, with 14 chapters. “I felt Orange County needed more representation.”

Marker’s fund supports developing the best practices for research, education and land use to preserve the habitat of the cheetah, unusual among large cats because only one of its species, jubatus, survives. Genetic inbreeding lowers survivorship, according to the fund’s website. Namibia supports the world’s largest and healthiest population of cheetahs.

For further info: visit cheetah. org.


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  1. B

    Our hotel housed the conference this past weekend for the Cheetah Conservation Fund and I cannot tell you how enlightening it was to work with their staff. Every one of their members were beyond angelic and I can recommend them to any organization or individual doing business with them in the future.

    What a great organization. It was our pleasure to host your group.

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