AfriCat’s newest group of cheetahs released into the Okonjima Nature Reserve are collectively known as The Motorbikes!
Over a period of weeks Team AfriCat had been monitoring 2 different groups of captive cheetahs, The Motorbikes – Harley Ducati, Aprilia & Starsky and the Aeroplanes – Sniper, Spitfire, Hurricane & Quattro to see which group was more mature and ready for rehabilitation.
We look for team-work and strong leaders. Which group seems to work together when a large chunk of meat is dragged ahead of them – Who instigates the chase and when ‘its’ caught – do they hang on . . . . do they eat together etc.
For some time we were sure the Aeroplanes were the chosen group and in that group Quattro is definitely ready for release, but not Sniper, nor Hurricane.
The MOTORBIKES were darted, collared and the 2 males contracepted. (The females were contracepted in July during the annual vet check)
We are hoping this group sticks together and works as a team, for in the Okonjima Nature Reserve it seems that this recipe works the best against the dangers they face as in the ‘Sibling’ group, Coco Bones & Spud that were released in May 2010 and who are still the most successful rehabilitated coalition since 2000.
The strongest leader in this group of 4, seems to be the one female APRILIA.
The 2 males are STARSKY & HARLEY (Davidson) – Harley is the biggest cat in this team and according to his weight and measurements (BMI)- the second biggest cheetah at AfriCat.
HARLEY a 6 year old and his siblings, DUCATI & APRILIA are from the Windhoek region and came to AfriCat at the age of 5 months. Their mother was shot and after the farmer caught them they were kept in a chicken cage for four weeks.
When they arrived at AfriCat they all showed signs of a calcium deficiency, skew legs, limps, but after getting the right food with lots of vitamin and mineral supplements they are all walking normally and have grown-up to be strong, beautiful cheetahs.
STARSKY and his brother Hutch came to AfriCat’s care when they were 3 months old. Their mother had also been shot. Starsky and Hutch were introduced to Harley, Aprilia and Ducati, but about 6 months later, little Hutch died unexpectedly and the post mortem showed no internal complications. A possible snakebite could have been the reason he was sadly found dead in his large 5ha enclosure.
STARSKY a darker cheetah than the other 3, has no siblings and definitely looks ‘different’ to his companions.
The three siblings, together with their mate STARSKY remained in AfriCat’s care until they were old enough to be rehabilitated and of course until space opened in the Okonjima Nature Reserve for their rehabilitation to start. . . .
(more de-bushed, open plains have been created during 2013/2014/2015 for this group and for the ‘plains’ prey-base to strengthen in numbers)
They were released on the 16th of September – More updates to follow.
THE AFRICAT ‘ADOPT A CARNIVORE PRGM’ has sponsored the care, medication and diet of these 4 cats since their arrival at AfriCat many years ago!
THANK YOU FOR ADOPTING OUR CARNIVORES AND HELPING AFRICAT RAISE THESE ORPHANED CUBS UNTIL THEY ARE READY FOR THE WILD!