In April the Mountain Zebra National Park in Cradock decided to relocate eight of its cheetahs to new homes. This was in order to ensure the genetic integrity of its cheetah population, as well as the Park’s ecosystem. Five of these cheetahs consisting of an adult female of whom the age is unknown and her three 18-month old cubs (one male and two females) along with one unrelated four year old male, were collected by HESC on the 16th of April 2011.
They were placed in quarantine to ensure that there were no signs of any internal or external parasites and also to give them some time to adapt to the new environment.
On the 22nd of May 2011 HESC set of once again to Mountain Zebra National Park with the help from G&H Transport to collect the remaining three cheetahs consisting of two males and one adult female.
They were then also placed into quarantine as soon as they arrived at HESC
One of the adult males subsequently bonded with the younger male cub. The pair was then taken to the Blue Canyon Conservancy on 31 July 2011 and released into a 1 hectare holding boma on the Conservancy. Dr Joost Scheepers, owner of Riversdal (that forms part of the Conservancy), said that although they’d had the odd sighting of cheetahs over the years, there were none resident on the Conservancy.
Tim Parker of Game Ranch Management Services was responsible for the 1 hectare boma in which the two males were released into and also the 15000 hectare conservancy. “We have an excellent relationship with the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre, and love working with Lente Roode who we find to be incredibly professional. We really appreciate her passing the cheetahs on to us” commented Tim Parker.