All of our cheetahs have been hand-raised
This is because we feel that for our cheetahs to live with as little stress as possible, they need to be used to their human carers. Therefore, all ambassador animals that are born at the facility stay with their mother for 6-8 weeks (to get the necessary milk for their growth and development), and are then continued to be raised by staff members. The cheetahs that form part of the rewilding breeding programme however receive as little human interaction as possible; cubs grow up with their mothers until the point where they are old enough to reintroduce them to ‘protected wilderness’ areas.
OUR SINGLETON CHEETAH
Zeus was born at Cheetah Experience Bloemfontein in March 2017. He was the only cub in the litter. Jesse, his mother, came to us shortly after him. Cheetahs that give birth to only one cub, called a singleton, often cannot produce enough milk to keep the cub alive. Typically, females in the wild will let a single cub die, after which they will enter oestrus and breed again. As his mother was a hand-raised cheetah, she was tame enough to allow the staff to intervene, and we were able to assist with milk stimulation. This meant that he stayed with his mother for 2 weeks, which is the crucial period for getting the Colostrum and other nutrients. Unfortunately, after 2 weeks, she would no longer allow him to feed. He started to lose weight and was taken from his mother to ensure his survival. He was hand-raised by Riana and become a friend for Fiela.
Zeus is a confident little cub with a unique and strong personality. He loves to play with his toys and chase his ball around. We can already see that he will love running on our lure machine. He receives much attention at Ashia! He also loves his canine friends – Zen, and the little black puppy, Asla.