This private game reserve is the proud home of three cheetah that were released on to the reserve and have been extensively studied to determine how they have adapted to their new home and to what extent they are impacting on their prey species, kudu and impala.
The two male cheetahs were released in January 2012 and upon ascertaining that the breeding of kudu and impala far outweighed the numbers hunted by cheetah it was decided to introduce a female cheetah.
The female arrived safely at us in November 2013 and was placed in a boma to re-orientate herself to her new surroundings. She was released onto the greater Game Reserve, an area of about 10 000 hectares in December.
The long-term plan is to allow this female to have young and rear them in the wild. These cubs will then be put up for adoption by other reserves forming part of the South African Cheetah Meta-population Management Program. In doing this, the reserve is helping to secure the growth of the cheetah population on privately owned land.
The cheetahs are doing very well at the moment. The two males are patrolling a lot these days and have begun taking down larger prey items like zebra and kudu. Even a sub-adult eland was recently taken down, showing us that these two cheetahs are definitely not afraid of a “supersized” meal.
We also have some fantastic news, in that our female has given birth to four cubs. The gestation period of Cheetah is in line with most other cats and lasts for between 90 – 105 days. These four cubs however have been well hidden by their mother and we have currently closed off the area to assist in giving them the best chance of survival. This area will be reopened in the near future when the cubs become mobile and we can look forward to some amazing sightings I am sure.0