Facebook was all a flurry when Garden Route Game Lodge wildlife manager, Abri Olivier, shared this short video of the six new cheetah cubs and their mum this week.
Check out their adorableness in this Facebook Video. Can we have a collective aww?
Still on the cheetah front, news just in from Mount Camdeboo, a private game reserve in South Africa’s Great Karoo, which has recorded two wins in the race to save wild cheetah from extinction.
The two cheetah brothers, which were relocated from a UK zoo last year and are in the process of being ‘wilded’ in the reserve, are fast finding their feet and have already brought down their first prey after being released into their current home, a 300ha ‘rewilding camp’ which has been stocked with small antelope.
Adjacent to the hunting camp is an 8000ha enclosure with the characteristic Camdeboo landscape of savannah, high hills and deep valleys. This is where the brothers will be released when they are ready. In this area is Ava, which is older than the pair and a year further in the wildling process. Ava had her first litter of cubs in December 2020.
In the wild, 90 percent of cheetah cubs die in their first three months. Half fall victim to other predators and the rest die from infections their immune systems, weakened by in-breeding, are unable to overcome. Overcoming genetic homogeneity is a focus of an Endangered Wildlife Trust initiative, the Cheetah Metapopulation Project, in which Mount Camdeboo Private Nature Reserve actively participates.
With fewer than 7000 animals remaining in the world, only 1000 exist in the wild. Most are in South Africa’s two largest game reserves, the Kruger and Kgalagadi National Parks, and can be regarded as healthy populations. The remaining 350 are spread between 50 smaller game reserves and it is these animals that are most at risk.
Partnering with Mount Camdeboo are Ashia Cheetah Conservation from South Africa and the Aspinall Foundation in Britain. Well done to the dedicated team and we look forward to hearing more about the journey of Ava, Saba and Nairo.
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