The story behind our latest capture really is astounding. We have been struggling to catch Cheetahs to fit radio-collars for some time, and my recent post mentions our first success. Following this, we have been able to get our paws on another Cheetah, this time a female, in the most bizarre of circumstances.
Venetia Limpopo Nature Reserve has a long running Wild Dog project, and as part of this, male dogs from outside were being bonded in a boma with two resident females. For his own safety, the yearling offspring of one of the females was kept in an adjoining enclosure. The plan was to release him first, and release the adult dogs the following day. The gate was duly opened, and fingers were crossed while we waited for him to head back to freedom. As he was stepping gingerly towards the open gate, a female cheetah rushed out of the bushes and in the ensuing scuffle, the Wild Dog ran into the bushes and the Cheetah ran into the boma. After months of fruitless trapping, all it took in the end was to simply slide the gate shut. What are the chances of simultaneously releasing one of Africa’s most endangered carnivores while catching another?
We have a vet coming in the morning to dart her and fit the collar. I will post photos!