Zoe and Zian are two King cheetahs that were born, to HESC on 29 July 2015.
Just five months after their birth, they had the good fortune of a visit to our centre by Gielie and Melanie Nienaber of GNLabour, who have had a great appreciation and passion for animals, for all of their lives. They are frequent visitors to the Kruger National Park, as they love to be as close as possible to nature, as often as possible.
During their tour, Gielie asked their guide how they can get involved with the work that HESC does. The guide advised him of severable ways that people can get on board, from donations to adoptions. Straight away Mr Nienaber asked if he could take a senior adoption option of a King Cheetah, as that way you can adopt a cheetah of your choosing, that has not been adopted yet.
It was decided that they would adopt Zoe, as he was told that Zian had a small defect from birth, his legs looked as if they had not formed properly.
But Mr Nienaber had a dream that night, after visiting our centre, where God spoke to him, and said ” What do you think are you doing? Why just accept the healthy cheetah? Do you not think that I can heal the other one? ”
The next morning, he called us up to say he would like to adopt Zian too. And just three months later, Zian’s legs had formed properly, and he was a healthy young King Cheetah.
It was not until a while later that we discovered that Zoe was indeed a male. This was discovered after he fell from a a tree and had to get stitches around her eye. The vet confirmed that Zoe was a he! (It can be difficult at times to determine a cheetah’s sex). But they kept the name as Zoe.
Gielie and Melanie always go the extra mile for Zoe and Zian’s birthdays, each year they hold a little party at our centre , and celebrate by inviting the community to come together, not only to enjoy delicious cake, but to also so spread awareness of conservation.
They even ran a competition with the HESC staff, for the best photo taken of Zoe and Zian, which would be used for their sign that they put up on the day. Assistant curator, Natasha won the prize for the photo. (Photo seen at beginning of blog).
They have also been active in adopting other animals in our centre, and they are just truly great people with massive hearts for animals as well as people.
We are very grateful for their kindness and extra mile they always take for those around them.