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Cheetahs find new, permanent home
Three wild cheetahs were recently released on Namibia’s third biggest private nature reserve.
Sandfontein Nature and Game Reserve as part of their expanding Sandfontein Conservation Programme released the cheetahs in cooperation with well-known wildlife experts Rudie and Marlice van Vuuren from N/a'an ku sê Wildlife Sanctuary.
Covering an area of 80 000 hectares the goal of Sandfontein in the Karas Region is to let wildlife roam their natural habitat unhindered.
The three wild cheetahs, also known as the “chipmunks”, came into conflict with humans about three years ago and were brought to the N/a’an ku sê Wildlife Sanctuary.
In June this year they were relocated to Sandfontein to form part of the Sandfontein Conservation Programme set up by managers Willie and Rodica Agenbach.
November 2 became a historical day for the N/a'an ku sê and Sandfontein Reserve team, as they joined forces to release the three wild cheetahs from their temporary homes in the Sandfontein Nature and Game Reserve.
However, after spending four months in the one hectare soft release enclosure the cheetahs didn’t really understand what was expected of them and had to be helped by Marlice to find their way out. After a couple of hours and great effort the cheetahs, known as Alvin, Simon and Theodore, were set free and started exploring their new horizons.
They join five other cheetahs on the reserve, of which one female named Nala often pays a visit to the lodge on the reserve. Tracked by satellite collars, researchers of N/a’an ku sê and Sandfontein are able to locate the animals and follow their every move.
Two days after the release the newly released cheetahs already crossed the first five km perimeter around their camp.
The Sandfontein Conservation Programme is eager to expand its wildlife in joint efforts with N/a'an ku sê in the next following years.