Gondwana Game Reserve releases two more cheetah

Two wild cheetah have taken their first steps to a new life on Gondwana Game Reserve 11,000 ha reserve on the Garden Route of South Africa. The arrival of the two males has sparked much excitement, with frequent sightings being reported on a daily basis by staff and guests. The two new males join the male and female cheetah that were released in September 2010. Gondwana Game Reserve  is privileged to be able to participate in the conservation of this endangered and beautiful species. These two cats will add a new dynamic to the balance of the eco-system within the reserve.

The two males were strategically chosen based on their ability to hunt, their close bond and the fact that they have previously been exposed to larger predators like lion. The combination of these factors will greatly improve their  survival chances on the reserve for these big cats. After an eight-hour journey from the Eastern Cape  two-year old male cheetah arrived at Gondwana Game Reserve. They were then released into a boma; which is an enclosure that Gondwana specifically built for large predators to be held before introduction onto the reserve. The time spent in the boma allowed the cheetah to become comfortable and acclimatise themselves to their new surroundings, before being released onto the greater reserve.

On release day, the fastest land mammals were in no rush to leave their boma, but after 15-minutes the larger cheetah built up the courage to explore. Once he had found the exit, the smaller cheetah was hot on his heels. The boys elegantly ambled along from the boma, where they had spent the last month in preparation for this significant moment, pausing frequently to observe their new home.

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Kate Bergh is co-founder of Cedarberg African Travel, a specialist tour operator for Southern and East Africa.

She heads up the South African office, having lived in South Africa since 1993. Her home looks up to the Cedarberg Mountains, where she enjoys hiking and cycling, when she’s not out discovering new places to visit, with her three children in tow. Kate has travelled extensively throughout the region to Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique and Zimbabwe as well as most areas of South Africa. She also loves history, meeting people and a good thriller...

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