Due to the species’ dramatic decline, researchers are calling for the cheetah to be up-listed from ‘Vulnerable’ to ‘Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Cheetah conservation programs need to urgently unite their efforts to reverse these declining numbers. The worldwide cheetah population has become a “population of populations” and the relatedness within these separated resident groups is becoming an issue.
Loss of habitat and decrease of prey
The ongoing growth of human populations and unsustainable consumer lifestyles
Conflict with farmers over livestock
Reduced ability to survive in protected areas due to bigger predators like a lion
Fragmented populations leading to inbreeding and number depletion
Illegal wildlife trade & poaching
Lack of involvement and education of local communities
The founders of Ashia, Chantal Rischard and Stephan Illenberger, established Ashia Cheetah Center in 2016 as the base for the project’s substantial cheetah conservation and animal welfare operations which take place in coordination with the relevant local and international conservation authorities.
- Prepare captive born and mother-raised cheetah – sourced from ethical and licensed breeding projects – for a self-sustaining life in the wild. The first step of Ashia’s phased pre-release process takes place at the Center. It includes a change of diet to only venison meat, fasting days, fitness training on the lure system at the running field, DNA testing as well as detailed heath checks and vaccinations. Once fit enough, these cats are translocated for their second step on pre-release areas (200-5,000ha) situated within game reserves which partnered with Ashia’s Release and Reintroduction Program. These practise sections simulate wild and natural conditions enabling the cheetah to fine-tune their hunting skills and technique over time until they are ready for their final release or reintroduction within the Metapopulation of southern Africa.
- Provide adequate space for the best animal and veterinary care to assist with rescue and rehabilitation cases or other impromptu operations that require a temporary hold of cheetah.
- Provide a safe home with spacious enclosures, professional veterinarian care and appropriate venison diet for animals with health problems as well as retired or injured cats that cannot be released back to the wild.
- To ensure longevity of this project and in partnerships with relevant scientific bodies, Ashia is initiating, funding and coordinating applicable research projects in order to contribute significantly to the conservation and genetic integrity as well as the growth and range expansion of the cheetah population in southern Africa.
- Offer internships and research opportunities to students, and work together with universities and other conservation programs to better understand the plight that the cheetah faces, and work towards their long term survival.
- Provide local and international volunteers and guests with an unforgettable opportunity to actively or financially contribute to the conservation of this precious species, and promote the conservation of the cheetah in their own communities.
Ashia has a strict no-touch policy and children under 16 years are only allowed at the café & reception area.
Ashia is a not-for-profit organization and any surplus funds generated by the Cheetah Center are solely used to fund the Cheetah Release and Reintroduction Program.