What it’s like to be a cheetah matchmaker

Posted on 22 March 2017

Reproduction plays a major role for any species: but when it comes to cheetah, it’s not always that simple.

Vincent van der Merwe, a conservation biologist with the Endangered Wildlife Trust, has the fascinating job of being a cheetah matchmaker. Because cheetah are endangered, one of the most important aspects of their survival is preventing inbreeding – if two cheetah mate and they come from different populations, they will produce strong healthier offspring.

Also read: 10 endangered animals (and how you can help)

According to Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, there are 7100 cheetah that live in the wild. By pairing the cats with their compatible mate, Vincent van der Merwe’s main aim is to rebuild healthy populations among cheetah. Watch the video to see how they assist with the process.


Interesting Cheetah (mating) facts

1.  Cheetahs can mate at any time during the year.
2. A male cheetah won’t stay with the female after the mating process.
3. The gestation period for cheetahs lasts approximately three months. After three months, she can have as many as eight cubs.
4. Many of the cubs will not survive the first few weeks but 5-7 weeks later, the remaining cubs will begin to hunt with the female.

Sitting boldly, a mother and her cubs relaxing. Image by Michael Poliza

Sitting boldly, a mother and her cubs relaxing. Image by Michael Poliza

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