Watch: Orphaned cheetah cubs released in Malawi

Posted by Jessica [email protected] on 18 September 2019

Three wild cheetah siblings that were orphaned at eight months have proved for the first time that, with a little help from humans, cheetah cubs are able to avoid large predators and learn how to hunt without learning these lessons from their mother.

Two of the cubs, born and raised on Welgevonden Game Reserve in the Waterberg region of Limpopo, were selected by the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) to re-establish a cheetah population on Mejete Wildlife Reserve, the only Big-Five reserve in Malawi.

The sub-adult siblings were two of four individual cheetahs selected for relocation, bumping Malawi’s overall cheetah population up to 19 individuals.

Cheetah vanished from Malawi over 20 years ago due to habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict and poaching.

The species returned in 2017 when a small founder population of South African-sourced cheetah were introduced to Liwonde National Park. This second introduction aims to further strengthen the genetic diversity and the chances of growing Malawi’s cheetah population .

The cheetah ventured into the park yesterday after a month of acclimatising to their new surroundings.

Cheetah cubs that are orphaned in the wild are usually captured and relocated to captive facilities where they lose their ability to survive in the wild and become disposed to diseases like gastritis, kidney and liver ailments and several ill-defined neurological disorders.

By retaining their wild status, these cubs have instead become beacons of hope for cheetah conservation.

https://www.facebook.com/welgevonden.research/videos/vb.689144027857598/735883043517475/?type=2&theater

Featured image: Welgevonden Game Reserve

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