Academic Research

Fertility in male cheetahs: 

This is primarily an investigation relating to the fertility of the male cheetahs and is a continuation of the late Professor Meltzer’s research in this regard. The purpose was to establish which males should be used in the breeding programme. Semen was collected from males once a year and evaluated.

DNA Studies:

Identification of the DNA of the ‘king’ pattern is an important tool in the breeding programme. Further applications of these studies include the identification of parents and the identification of specific cheetahs. DNA studies are proposed as obligatory by the National Cheetah Conservation Forum (NCCF). HESC is a member of this organisation, which has the mission of maintaining a viable metapopulation of cheetahs in South Africa.

Veterinary support facilities:

To control contagious diseases that may be carried by animals brought to the centre, a large camp with quarantine facilities and suitable holding facilities was built adjacent to the animal hospital. All animals are kept in this facility for a period of six weeks. During this period the animals are monitored and all the necessary tests are performed, to establish if the animals are free of contagious diseases or if they are carriers of controlled diseases.

Where possible, these facilities are made available to accredited institutions that may need to use the quarantine and holding areas. The Department of Environmental Affairs of the Limpopo Province also utilises this quarantine facility as the need may arise.

Cheetah research: