Female cheetahs: Excitement also far outside Madikwe’s fence
The latest animal arrival in Madikwe, two female cheetahs, awakes an enormous interest everywhere. What are the reasons for such a response?
Managing the ecosystems, the balance between different species, the introduction and removal of animals- all this belongs to the daily routine of a game reserve. This applies to Madikwe as well. Therefore one would understand that the recent influx of two cheetah females would not really be worth a note. However, this project, that has accompanied the reserve for more than a year now, awaked interest, with an echo, far outside the boundaries of Madikwe’s fence.
“When we heard about the project, we simply wanted to offer support as animal conservation is a part of our sponsorship activities", says Rhulani’s owner, Rolf. “We entered into the game lodge business out of a passion for the bush and this is also why animals are so important to us.” Rolf knew about the difficulties to find appropriate female cheetahs from the beginning, which gave this project a special note.
“It was amazing to see how, sometimes, our guests would make a donation with check-out for this project”, says Rhulani’s manager, Chris. Even the rangers and other lodge employees took part in collecting money so that sufficient funds were available to process the transaction within about a month. “Thank you so much to everyone that has helped to spread the word and that has contributed”, says Madikwe Field Ecologist, Carlien Esterhuizen, who leads this project.
And now they are here. These wonderful big cats are resting in a transitional boma and preparing for a new life in Madikwe. A story accompanied by multiple interest. “A growing coalition of cheetahs at Madikwe Game Reserve” recently headlined the “South African Tourism Blog”.
"A cheetah sighting is an absolute highlight for any guest and everyone loves this cat because of its elegance and speed”, Rolf mentions one of the reasons for the great support. "And it is an endangered species. So, to now have the chance for own reproduction to eventually grow a sustainable cheetah population in Madikwe, is probably an even more important factor.”
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