As part of my PhD dissertation, I study the movement ecology of Asiatic cheetah, a rare cat only found in Iran deserts these days. Today, I visited a cheetah expert, Adrienne Crosier, at Smithsonian Institution (SI) Conservation and Research Center (Front Royal) and she kindly showed their cheetah facility. They had 20 cheetahs with 2 females in pregnancy; one of which was supposed to give birth to 5 cheetah cubs! The same female cheetah had given birth to 7 cubs in the past. It was a fantastic and rare experience, because the facility was not open to public and I was very lucky to be able to visit it. As they have been successful at captive breeding of the African cheetah, hopefully, I will take that knowledge to my country (Iran) to survive the Asiatic cheetah, which only 50-70 are remained based on the recent reports.
I also met with some other Postdoctoral Fellows Dr. Katie Edwards and Dr. Nucharin Songsasen and talked about research and movement ecology of dhole.
In addition, I met with Chris Flemming who were busy developing a parallelized quasi newton optimizer and talked about various aspects of his ctmm package.