The staff at Inverdoorn hail from various parts of South Africa, and even other parts of the world. As a result they all have very different and diverse backgrounds, but are connected by their passion for wildlife and conservation. Leah Brousse, the main cheetah handler for Inverdoorn and the Western Cape Cheetah Conservation, was born in Paris, France. She speaks English, German, French, a little bit of Spanish and says "I am learning Afrikaans which I am very happy about. I understand almost everything, but sometimes I'm just too shy to speak it." Her favourite thing about South Africa, besides the wildlife of course, is the weather and the happy people; and she can't resist mentioning "obviously my fab thing is the cheetahs."
Q. How long have you been working at Inverdoorn?
A. I've been working at Inverdoorn since January, so it's been nine months now.
Q. What has been your best experience at Inverdoorn so far?
A. There have been so many and there are still so many to come so it's really hard to say, but I think the best experience is to realise that a wild animal like a cheetah trusted you with every decision you made. To earn their trust is the best experience. And I think the cheetah release, to see these beautiful animals where they belong, will also definitely be one of the best experiences.
Q. What is the most challenging part of your job?
A. There are two very challenging parts of my job. At the moment Iziba is really challenging me. She is at a very important and difficult stage in her life where she is still a teenager but is starting to grow up, so her training is very important. To find the right training for a cheetah is not always very easy. On the other hand, it is challenging to keep the hope up that one day humans will realise how important nature is and hopefully here at Inverdoorn we can make them understand that.
Q. What do you love most about cheetahs?
A. Everything! But I think the thing that I love the most is how wild and tender they are at the same time. How they pick up your emotions and react to them in a very loving way.