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Just before Christmas: The cheetah females are free!

The gate of the boma was opened for the three cheetah females one week before Christmas. Now we are curious how these magnificent animals will live their lives in the Madikwe Game Reserve, in freedom. We show you the first photos right after the release.

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The release went smoothly, discreetly and on time. A date just before Christmas, when the park awaited young antelopes, especially impalas, was just ideal. The search for prey in the first few weeks is then a bit easier for these beautiful cats that have been kept in the boma and fed, in order to accommodate them to the new environment.

We have already reported in detail about the ambitions and difficulties of this unique project (see here). 

Rhulani Safari Lodge sponsors one of the three cheetahs. We were curious how the first steps in freedom would succeed. We set out to find the three animals in the north, still together, near the boma. "They were only a few hundred meters away," says Rhulani's Ranger Sean.

We managed to take some nice, maybe unique pictures. One expects that soon each of the three will go their own way. Despite some time spent together, cheetah females are rather solitary.

Considering the importance of the project and the many dangers, the movements of the animals are monitored via satellite. They can be located anytime, and we know if they are still alive. 

"We've now discovered that the female supported by us is already on its own," says Rhulani's manager Gerda a few days after the release. Apparently, the cheetah has already successfully killed an impala, which is a very good sign.

We will regularly report on news from this project.

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