We are beyond excited today, as three new cheetahs have arrived on the reserve! Head Field Guide, Adriaan Mulder, shares what transpired….
“These cheetahs, born wild, were relocated from a reserve along the Botswana border. There is one male around 4 years old, and a brother and sister around 18 months old. After their arrival on the property, they were kept in quarantine for a few weeks to get used to the presence of vehicles and humans, and to their new environment.
The cheetahs were finally released onto the reserve on the morning of the 2nd of September. After a drowsy start (resulting from the sedative administered for the relocation), their heads slowly lifted as they woke up. The two siblings were the first to move. The young male stumbled to his feet, clearly looking for his sister who was still fast asleep under an umbrella thorn tree. It was very soon after that she also became conscious. The older male was the last to wake, getting to his feet and finally making his way after the other two. They were now free to move around and explore their new home.
We’re happy to report that within their first few days, we already enjoyed some excellent sightings of them, including a number of attempts to hunt kudu, impala and warthog. Since then they have been seen in many different areas around the reserve, and thankfully seem to be relaxed around vehicles.
You may notice from the picture that they have collars around their necks. These are radio tracking collars fitted on each of the 3 cheetahs. Their sole purpose is to enable reserve management to monitor their movements, and to make sure they remain within the borders of the Marakele National Park.
We are excited to share more photos of these new arrivals in weeks to come!”
Written by: Adriaan Mulder
Photos by: Adriaan Mulder and Darryn Murray