cheetah soaks up the sun in Namibia

Catch up with AfriCat’s cheetahs – The Saltpans, Aeroplanes and The Masters

We have three separate news stories over on the AfriCat Website bringing you up to speed on our three different groups of cheetahs who were released into the Okonjima Nature Reserve last year.

The Saltpans
In November 2013, two young orphaned cheetahs were found and rescued from the saltpans on the outskirts of Swakopmund. Locals detected the young cheetahs and instantly informed Swakopmund’s resident veterinarians Dr Rodenwoldt (AfriCat’s resident vet) and Dr Winterbach. The cubs were no older than six to seven months and were severely dehydrated and malnourished. After 24 hours of intensive care and observation, both cats were back on their feet and started eating and drinking on their own again. The AfriCat Foundation was contacted for assistance. After a further three days, the orphaned siblings were collected and transported to the AfriCat Headquarters where they were released into a small holding enclosure for the first few days to facilitate monitoring.
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2 cheetahs relaxing in the okonjima nature reserve namibia

The Masters
Dash, Ruff and Tumble first came to AfriCat in 2008 at the age of one month and lived at AfriCat’s Carnivore Care Centre for the following four years. In 2012 the sibling trio was released into Okonjima’s 20 000 ha nature reserve together with their coalition mates Dizzy and Baxter. Their rehabilitation process seemed promising in the beginning, as they started to hunt almost immediately after their release. After Baxter was killed not long after the release and Dizzy decided to lead a solitary life, the remaining trio only had sporadic hunting success and eventually became sedentary along the eastern boundary fence where game is sparse. After six months of limited movement and minimal hunting success, the decision was made to take Dash, Ruff and Tumble back to AfriCat’s Care Centre in December 2012 where they would act as educational ambassadors for their wild counter parts. The group was called ‘The Masters’ due to their advanced age and in recognition of their work as “educationalists”.
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2 cheetahs and a baboon roam the okonjima nature reserve

The Aeroplanes
The Aeroplane coalition – consisting of three males, Sniper, Spitfire and Quattro and their sister Hurricane – was released from the AfriCat Carnivore Care Centre into the 20 000 ha Okonjima Nature Reserve at the beginning of December 2016. Spitfire and his sister Hurricane came to AfriCat in 2009 when they were about three months old. After their mother was shot, the two cubs were caught by a farmer, where they stayed for the following three weeks before AfriCat was contacted for assistance. Quattro was seven months old when he was hit by a car. The crash resulted in severe concussion and a broken leg. His front left leg was broken in four different places and needed to be pinned and plated in the Rhino Park Veterinary Clinic in Windhoek. After his major surgery, Quattro recovered from his injuries at AfriCat in a limited space enclosure to ensure that the bone could heal properly.
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The aeroplane group of cheetahs in the Okonjima Nature Reserve

Not all of our cheetahs here have made it through the year, as is the way of nature and living in the wild with other larger carnivores such as leopards. During the present rainy season, many of the ungulates have dropped their young. With the increase of impala lambs in the reserve, the hunting success rate of our cheetahs has increased proportionally and we will continue to monitor and keep you updated with news of how they are all faring in 2018.




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