Wild cheetahs recuperate at Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre

The Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre has for the past months been a safe haven for two wild cheetahs that were severely injured.

One of the cheetahs, a free-roaming male, was found in a gin-trap close to the Botswana border in the North West recently. “Officials from the conservation authority and private veterinarians saved the life of this cheetah and rushed him to Dr Peter Caldwell of Old Chapel Veterinary Clinic who performed surgery to attach severed ligaments and blood vessels. The veterinary cost was covered by Ashia Cheetah Conservation. After a short stay at the clinic, the male has been in the care of the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre in De Wildt and has recovered well enough to be released,” said Petro van Eeden, manager of the centre.

Cheetah Outreach Trust will fit a satellite tracking collar to track his movements after his release back into the free roaming population.

Another cheetah, one of over 400 cheetahs that form part of the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s expansion project, was severely injured in January this year after he was attacked by another cheetah. “At the time Sam was about to be relocated but shortly before this was supposed to happen, he was seriously injured and taken for surgery and close monitoring by Dr Peter Caldwell and his team. However, the stress caused by being kept in a confined area, resulted in Sam chewing his wound and bandages. This hampered his recovery greatly. The Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre was asked to assist. We provided Sam (as the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre named him) with an enclosure where he could resume his post-operative recovery, be distracted by the other cheetahs around him and explore a new environment,” she said.

Sam was transported to his new home at the Mountain Zebra National Park in the Eastern Cape two weeks ago.
“This is an excellent example of different conservation organisations working together as a team”, says Deon Cilliers from Cheetah Outreach Trust. COT is dedicated to the conservation of the free-roaming cheetah and large predators in South Africa on farmland areas through integrated conservation strategies, environmental education and parenting conservation initiatives.