“Lente?” Her mother’s voice was soft. “Wake up! Would you like to be a mama. . .to a cheetah baby?”
Lente Schuermann, South Africa born, was five years old. She sat up and blinked at the tiny gray ball of fur, nestled in her mother’s hands. “I didn’t even know what it was,” she later told me. However, when it yawned and stretched and snuggled into her own cupped hands, Lente fell in love.