The Cheetah Conservation Fund is currently home to 45 captive cheetahs, however it is not our aim or even our wish to have cheetahs here in captivity. Unfortunately, when a young cheetah is orphaned there are no alternatives to captivity as they would be unable to care and fend for themselves. Many of the cheetahs here at CCF, such as our Okakarara Ambassadors, are non-releasable because they came to CCF at too young an age and are now too habituated or comfortable with humans to ever be on their own in the wild. However, some of the cheetahs here at CCF who where orphaned at an old enough age (meaning they have had enough experience in the wild) do have a slight chance to one day return home to the wild. CCF's rewilding program was designed to maximize this chance and we have successfully reintroduced a number of cheetahs to this day.
Thursday the 28th of June was a very exciting day for four of CCF's captive cheetahs. The cheetahs we call the Leopard Boys (Omdillo, Anakin, Chester, and Obi Wan) were released into Erindi Private Game Reserve, beginning their life anew in the wild. These four boys were successfully rewilded early this year and because they did so well in CCF's training camp we took steps to find them a home in the wild. Fortunately, Erindi Private Game Reserve agreed to provide these four a new home. On Wednesday the 27th of June the four were darted and fitted with VHF radio collars, which CCF and Erindi staff will use to track and monitor the cheetahs to ensure that they are doing well on their own. Early Thursday morning the Leopard Boys were loaded up and driven to Erindi at which point they were released.
We do not yet have much news to report but we will keep you posted on how the Leopard Boys are doing in Erindi.