The cheetahs arrived in the dark of night
Mission accomplished: In the dark of the night and almost unnoticed, two female cheetahs have made the transfer to Madikwe.
The long awaited operation has gone flawlessly. To minimize the stress of the big cats, the two beautiful female cheetahs arrived in Madikwe on Monday, November 10 in the dark of night without any announcement. There was a palpable sigh of relief when the big cats bolted out of the transportation crates.
"They had a long travel and were a little nervous", says Carlien Esterhuizen, Field Ecologist of the reserve. "However the animals are in good condition and don’t have any injury”, expresses Carlien her satisfaction.
The cheetahs are now in a transitional boma, where they will stay for approximately 2 months to settle down and get habituated to vehicles. “It has been a remarkable journey sofar and promises to get even more interesting as time passes. It is now pretty much up to the two cheetahs to do their bit”, comments North West Parks & Tourism Board when asked about this exciting project.
The cheetahs are sisters, were born in July 2013 and therefore are 16 months old. Thus they are twins and one would think, that they will be difficult to differentiate. Rhulani's manager Chris, an experienced ranger, laughs: "No, no, every animal has its own pattern and when we see their faces for the first time, it will be easy for us to recognize and distinguish them.” Female cheetahs normally start breeding around the age of 27 months so if all goes well we can anticipate offspring towards the latter part of 2015.
For the first few days our new arrivals will rest in the boma and they will be well shielded and protected from too much noise and movements. From Monday 17 November, it will then be possible for our guests to make a stop at the boma and see the cheetahs for the first time.
As it is already known, Rhulani has taken over the sponsorship for one of the two cheetahs and we are already looking forward to showing you the very first photo soon. Stay connected with us!
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