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Female cheetah project: a new, hopeful chapter is being written

  • September 14, 2017 | Rhulani Safari Lodge

After one year of silence, this message sounds like a miracle: three healthy, beautiful female cheetahs are arriving these days in the Madikwe Game Reserve. With great joy and hope, the "cheetah project" is writing a new chapter. When will we see cheetah cubs for the first time?

The female cheetah project is starting again

Perhaps you have followed the project through our blogs during the last years. A female cheetah is incredibly difficult to get. And it is even more difficult then to successfully introduce this skittish cat into a Big 5 reserve and hope that she will find a male to mate with and successfully grow cubs. All attempts in the past have failed.

Since the beginning, Rhulani Safari Lodge has made considerable contributions for this project. A first female cheetah was too skittish and could not be released. A second female cheetah died in the preparatory phase in the boma, choked to death by a piece of meat stuck in the throat. Her sister with name "Rhulani" was released a bit later into the reserve, but she got killed by a colition of four cheetah brothers at the first meeting. We only found the satellite collar somewhere in the bush.

As a result, the male coalition was removed from the reserve and four new cheetah males were introduced that are roaming in two pairs, by which the pressure on a new female should be reduced.

Memories of two failed cheetah projects on our wall: "Rhulani" and "Iketle"

The next female that arrived in Madikwe, we called her "Iketle",  adapted herself very well. But suddenly she disappeared and the satellite signal fell silent. It is believed that Iketle found a way out of the reserve. That was exactly one year ago (read here). There is no trace or sign of her to this day.

Since then, the project has been quiet. So now, as out of the blue, comes this news: The registration process of three beautiful cheetah females is successfully completed, permits are issued and the satellite collars are put on. The cats are now on their way to Madikwe, where they will live for the next few weeks in a protective boma and become accustomed to the new environment, before getting released.

Rhulani Safari Lodge will once again be the godfather of one of the cheetahs and has taken over the costs for the satellite collar. The cats were kindly provided by "De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Center" free of charge.

For us, a new, hopeful chapter is being written, which will provide many new, exciting stories. We will keep you up to date on all news. Follow us also on Social Media (#RhulaniCheetaj).