Trapped wild cheetahs relocated

Four wild cheetah cubs that were trapped by farmers in the Kalahari, have spent the last months at the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre in De Wildt for observation.

Deon Cilliers of the Cheetah Outreach with one of the wild cheetahs

Two females were relocated to Madikwe by Cheetah Outreach last week.

According to Deon Cilliers of Cheetah Outreach, the mother of the two female and two male cubs disappeared, and farmers trapped the four cubs.

“They were between seven and eight months old. Cubs of this age are not able to hunt on their own yet. They were brought to De Wildt for rehabilitation and will now be released in a rewilding camp at Madikwe to learn to hunt without the natural dangers they would have been exposed to as cubs in the wild,” he said.

Cheetah cubs stay with their mother until the age of 18 months. Typically, they only start hunting by themselves when they are about a year old. “Hunting is a learning process by the mother and the cubs did not have that.” The relocation was done in partnership with the North West conservation department and Ashia Cheetah Conservation. The two females will be released in the Rietvlei Dam Nature Resort soon.

The Cheetah Outreach organisation work closely with farmers to address the possible conflict between cheetahs and livestock farmers. Relocation and the use of Anatolian Shepherd dogs are among the solutions to the conflict.