New Arrivals: Cheetah Cubs!February 2021
There has been much excitement at the lodge as your beautiful young female gave birth to 4 cheetah cubs and Ranger Jacques managed to see them at around 2 months old.
As you may know cheetahs are on the endangered list and we work with Cheetah conservation programs, EWT (Endangered wildlife trust) and are part of the national cheetah meta population management plan, this oversees all cheetah populations in all park including private. The Cheetah populations are managed with their genetics in mind , one of the biggest problems with cheetahs is genetic diseases which is due to their very low numbers, they are very susceptible to genetic diseases and disorders - so this management program makes sure that cheetahs are relocated in to new parks and reserves as this assists with the gene pool. The cheetahs are closely managed hence you will see in the image the female is collared, this especially applies to the females as they are very valuable for reproducing and increasing the population base, so with the collar we are able monitor them should there be any illness or problems, then we can step in very quickly and find them in the reserve and it is a value additional management tool as we have daily updates on monitoring from the collar .
Cheetah cubs are blind at birth, eyes open at 10-12 days, which makes them fully dependent on their mother for food. Until the age of three to six months, the cubs drink their mother’s milk for nutrients.
At three months of age, they will start to eat meat and live prey will be brought to cubs by the mother in order to practise hunting, they learn to hunt from their mother starting around 1.5 months of age. By the time they are six months, the cubs will attempt to hunt young gazelles and hares. At 15 months old, they are normally prosperous hunters. Cubs should be independent from 18 months old. In the images and the video you will see our new cubs practising to eat meat!