Free-roaming cheetah set free from painful gin trap in North West

Posted by Anita Froneman on 14 October 2020

A wild male cheetah found caught in a gin trap in the North West province was rescued by a swift collaborative effort between various conservation organisations.

‘This free roaming cheetah was discovered close to the Botswana border in the North West Province of South Africa,’ Ashia Cheetah Conservation wrote on a Facebook post.

A gin trap is a mechanical device designed to snare an animal by the leg or head using spring operated jaws, usually with a serrated edge or teeth. These traps inflict severe pain and traumatic injuries.

‘Officials from the Conservation Authority and private veterinarians saved the life of this cheetah and rushed him to Dr Peter Caldwell of Old Chapel Veterinary Clinic who performed surgery to attach severed ligaments and blood vessels. The veterinary cost was covered by Ashia Cheetah Conservation. After a short stay at the clinic the male has been in the care of Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre – De Wildt and has recovered well enough to be released,’ according to the post.

‘COT is dedicated to the conservation of the free-roaming cheetah and large predators in South Africa on farmland areas through integrated conservation strategies, environmental education and parenting conservation initiatives. A big thank you goes to Vincent van der Merve from The Endangered Wildlife Trust for the swift coordination of all parties involved,’ the post concluded.

The wound is already healing well.


X-rays taken at Old Chapel Veterinary Clinic by Dr Peter Caldwell after surgery.


The cheetah was sedated and transported to surgery.


The team did DNA testing before translocation to De Wildt Cheetah Conservation & Research Centre.

Ashia Cheetah Conservation is successfully returning captive born cheetahs into the protected wild of South African game reserves and national parks.

Pictures: North West Conservation Authority/Dr Peter Caldwell

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