Our Animals 2018-01-22T08:52:36+00:00

Our Animals

At Cheetah Experience Ashia

Cheetah Experience Ashia



have been hand-raised; this is because we feel

that for animals to live with as little stress as possible they need to be used to their human carers.  Therefore, any 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 then are continued to be raised by staff members.

Cheetah Experience Queen - Fiela



Fiela was born in January of 2006 and she is the reason why Cheetah Experience Bloemfontein was started.  Fiela ruled the farm in Bloemfontein and is considered Queen.  In 2017 she took over the reigns at Cheetah Experience Ashia.  Although tame she is in retirement and doesn’t enjoy constant attention so we can go and look at her but we won’t go too close.

Close-up View Of Cheetah Cub, Noah



Noah was born on 15th of July 2017 at one of our captive breeding partner projects where Jakes, his father, is living. His mother Aero is one of Riana’s cheetahs in Bloemfontein and also the mom of Alpha, Anya and Ava, our three amazing A-Cubs. Unfortunately, it was the middle of a very cold night Aero gave birth to a litter of four. One cub died that same night and even though the other cubs were pulled to safeguard their survival a second cub died soon after. Noah and his sister luckily survived.

We had to wait to get a permit to move him to Cheetah Experience Ashia as they were too little and too fragile to do the DNA testing immediately. He lived for a few weeks at Cheetah Experience in Bloemfontein, and was finally moved to Ashia on 26 of September 2018, being 8 weeks old when he arrived. Riana nursed him to become a healthy little cub. Him and Fiela were fortunate enough to fly down from Bloemfontein in a private sponsored plane. At first Noah just hissed and slapped at Fiela, but Fiela longed to be his mom. As the days passed by the relationship became better and Fiela is so fond of him, she doesn’t want him to go out of sight. Fiela became this young caring mom. Noah is loved by everybody who meets him and he will live a happy fulfilling live as one of our ambassador cheetahs at Ashia.



Aero Cheetah

Was born in Febuary of 2016.  She was taken away from her mother due to a cleft palate (opening/hole in the roof of her mouth) which lead to her nasal cavity stopping her from being able to nurse.  After pulling her is when we saw the hole in her palate and brought her to the vet, although highly malnourished from barely being able to eat we were able to save her.

 She has had 3 different surgeries now to fix the cleft palate and unfortunately there is still a problem which prevents her eating normally.

Her palate is too short and doesn’t function properly to direct the food down the oesophagus.  She still has a risk of food entering the nasal cavity which can eventually result in infections.  She will be having her fourth and final surgery in May 2017.  At this stage she is still not allowed to chew on anything, no branches, toys or bones, but we are hopeful with the final surgery that she will be able to chew on large red meat bones one day.
Despite all the medical treatment she has undergone, she is transforming into an affectionate cat – she just needs time to develop trust.



Faith was born in April of 2013.  At one month of age Faith developed a form of Meningitis resulting in pressure on her brain which caused nerve damage.  She became completely lame (could not move) and so was rushed to the vet.  After 2 months of intense physiotherapy and medication Faith came home.  She walks funny and struggles with her coordination, but she is the most determined, happy cheetah you will ever meet.

She lived with her best friend Eden since she was just a cub and they always were inseparable. Faith was meant to join us at Cheetah Experience Ashia, together with Eden. After our beautiful Eden left her and us way too young we decided that Faith should stay in Bloemfontein, at a place where she grew up and with the staff she knows and loves. She took time to adjust to losing Eden and we didn’t want to put her through more life changes – she is very happy running in the yard and hopefully bonding with a new friend.

Faith Cheetah Experience Ashia
Eden Cheetah Experience Ashia



Eden was born 2 weeks before Faith in April of 2013.  Her mom had to have a caesarean section (C-Section) due to a prolonged labour.  Her sibling died during labour but Eden was strong.  Unfortunately the C-section caused a loss of milk production in her mother and so although we tried to reunite her with her mother she had to be hand raised.

She was always full of fun and loved to run around with her best friend Faith but in June 2017 Eden’s health became a concern.  Her appetite decreased and she became more and more lethargic.  Her blood was taken and unfortunately the results were not looking good – she was in Kidney Failure.  After monitoring her for a couple of weeks and trying everything medically possible she sadly passed on to a better place on 29th of June where she can run free and without pain. Eden was only allowed a short time on earth, but in her 4 years, she touched the lives of staff, volunteers and visiting public.  She was the kindest and sweetest ambassador cheetah ever and she will always be remembered for her purr, her pretty face and the joy she brought to all of our lives.



Cheetah Lying Gracefully On The Grass

Born 30th October 2011, Abby and Apollo were the first cubs born at Cheetah Experience Bloemfontein from our breeding program to Jesse and Mafusa.  Abby is one of the most affectionate cheetahs on the farm.  When she reached maturity (2016) she became part of our breeding program.  She became pregnant with 5 cubs, which had to be delivered by rare caesarean section due to a prolonged labour.  The C-section, performed in the veterinarian clinic, remarkably saved all 5 cheetah cubs.  They are healthy, developing well and growing way too fast!  Due to the complications from her delivery, we have moved her away from the breeding project and she will enjoy life as one of our ambassador cheetahs at Cheetah Experience Ashia.



Cheetah Mother

Alpha, Ava and Anya were all born on 10th October 2016 to mum, Aero, and dad, Shakran.  They were born at Cheetah Experience Bloemfontein at just 520g, 452g and 352g, respectively.  They continued to grow and play in Bloemfontein until their enclosure was finished at Cheetah Experience Ashia.

They stayed with their mum until they were six weeks old and have since been raised by the staff at Cheetah Experience Bloemfontein.  They were 6 months of age when they moved to Ashia, but in their first months of life they had someone with them 24-hours a day; this is for two main reasons.  One, because we want them to feel safe and happy whenever they are around people; and two, because they love to climb, and we have to keep a close eye to make sure they don’t fall down and hurt themselves.  For example, by two and a half months they had decided that they were going to start climbing trees, however they couldn’t quite figure out how to get back down again! So their babysitter at the time has to ensure they get their paws safely back on the ground.

They spend their days running around their big enclosure, and then sleeping with as much enthusiasm as they run.  They love watching the all the work going on in the new cheetah camps that are still under construction. Luckily they are very confident little cheetahs and take all the noise and activity going on in their stride.  They are all very affectionate little cats, each with their own unique little personalities and appearance.  Alpha is the biggest of the cubs (hence the name) with a big fluffy face and big feet which he is starting to grow into, he also has a little man moustache growing in. Ava has a big white tip to the end of her tail and Anya is the smallest but is quickly catching her sister!
Anya is the most confident by a mile! She is the smaller but she certainly doesn’t think so – she wants to go investigate everything she comes across. Alpha is a soft soul, he is a little more nervous than his sisters but he is the most loving, he loves nothing more than falling asleep next to you and having company, cuddling into your neck and purring away.  Ava is the trouble maker!  She will always try to push the limits to see how far she can go, but then she gives you her sweet look and you can’t stay angry!  She loves climbing things especially and would live in the trees if we would let her!




Caring for our retired Cheetah Wildlife

Jesse joined the cheetah family at Ashia in July 2017.  Jesse, Pepsi and the brother of Pepsi lived on a game farm outside Bloemfontein.  After the brother was killed by a snake the two females were sent to Cheetah Experience and joined the breeding programme.  Both females took a while to adapt as they were not used to any attention.  They were just fed on a daily basis.  Jesse was on a loan to join our breeding program.  It took over two years for Jesse to get used to routine feeding, enrichment and staff involvement.  

In October 2011 she gave birth to Abby, Apollo and Angel.  They stayed with her and were doing well.  At three weeks of age in the afternoon Angel became lethargic and lame.  We rushed her to the local vet, but she got worse and we took her to Pretoria, a five hours drive from Bloemfontein during a very stormy night.  The vets struggled with her during the night, but she sadly passed away in the early morning.  There was no explanation of what the cause could be.  Abby and Apollo stayed with Jesse until the age of six weeks.  We don’t have any release programme in place yet as the ‘wild’ for these animals just does not exist anymore.  These two gorgeous cubs were the first ambassadors born at Cheetah Experience.  Jesse is also the mother to Dew and Dawn, Eden, Hope and Horizon, Libby, Kenji and Zeus.  Libby and Abby arrived months earlier than her mother at her new and permanent home in Paarl and they have all been settling in very well.
Jesse is retired at the age of 10 and her  forever home  is now Cheetah Experience Ashia, where she will enjoy the farm life and all the beauty it is offering.

Pepsi also arrived at her new and permanent home at Ashia in July 2017.  Pepsi has a unique personality and her own way of doing things.  It is more on the typically ‘cat’ way as everything has to be on her terms.  We got to know her, understand her, accommodate her moods but most of all fell in love with her.  In 2013 she fell in love with Mafusa and we watched her pregnancy carefully.  When she had to give birth, contractions started and after a few hours of closely monitoring her we knew that something was wrong. 

She was rushed in for a C-section.  There was one baby and it was still alive.  We had to hand raise her.  We called her Eden and she is well-known for her perfect heart-shaped nose.  Pepsi recovered very well after her C-section.

Pespi has been taken out of the breeding program and is just enjoying her companionship with Jesse.  Both have been settling in very well and love all the attention they get at their forever home at Cheetah Experience Ashia.



Caring for retired cheetahs, Cheetah Experience Ashia, Paarl



Cheetah rescued by Cheetah Experience Ashia

Xena came to Cheetah Experience Bloemfontein in February 2008 as a young cub with her two siblings and was raised there.  She was supposed to move to another project but unfortunately she broke her leg while playing.  She needed surgery and Cheetah Experience Bloemfontein was the best place for her to recover.  During this time very strong bonds were formed and nobody wanted to let her go anymore.  Cheetah Experience became her new home.  She is very playful and loving, and will also come looking for affection.  She was part of the breeding program but breeding was never really for her.  She never had any cubs and she retired in June 2017 and found a loving and permanent home at Cheetah Experience Ashia.

Cheetah hand-raised to ensure his survival



Zeus was born at Cheetah Experience Bloemfontein on the 30th March 2017 and 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 estrus 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 he stayed with his mother for 2 weeks, which is the crucial time period for him to get the Colostrum and other nutrients from her milk to boost his natural immunity.  Unfortunately, after 2 weeks, she would no longer allow him to breast feed – he started to lose weight and he was taken from his mother to ensure his survival. He was hand-raised by Riana and he will one day be a friend for Fiela.
Zeus is a confident little cub with a unique and strong personality.  He loves to play with his bottle toys and chase his football around his enclosure and we can already see he will love running on our lure machine.  He gets a lot of attention from our staff and volunteers and he also loves his canine friends Zen and the little black puppy Asla.


Zen, Khumbu, Luka & Asla