To the rescue in Namibia the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) and the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), Mission: capture a cheetah gone visiting in a residential area of Swakopmund on August 9, 2010. The healthy animal is safe and it will be released back into the wild soon. It is safe at CCF’s facility in Otjiwarongo now.
The cheetah was anesthetized on Monday by Dr. Hartmut Winterbach who, after being called by MET, put the cheetah in a holding pen at the SPCA in Swakopmund. At the same time, CCF notified members of the Large Carnivore Management Association of Namibia (LCMAN) about the situation and headed to Swakopmund to assist.
This is a re- rescued cheetah; It was captured and radio-collared and relocated by N/a’an ku sê Wildlife Sanctuary a month earlier. Florian Weise, spokesman for N/a’an ku sê , said that the cheetah and its brother had been radio collared and released at Little Kulalla near Sossusvlei and north of NamibRand last month. After a week of monitoring movements by radio-telemetry, the cheetahs signal was lost.
The cats originally came from the Gobabis area and were not causing livestock losses.
The two are considered dispersal cheetahs.
“Dispersal male cheetahs are animals pushed out of their maternal home ranges by dominant male cheetahs. These displaced cheetahs often travel over 200 km; looking for a new range.
Cheetahs are shy and unlikely to enter areas that are densely populated. In general, cheetahs are not aggressive and pose no threat to humans as they prefer flight to fight. So, how this cat ended up in the middle of the city of Swakopmund is still somewhat unexplained.
And where is its brother, as cheetah males stick together?”
At CCF, the cheetah was released in a quarantine facility and appeared to be in surprisingly good health, given the long journey through the desert and unfamiliar territory. CCF will work with N/a’an ku sê for future release plans for this cheetah.
Research into cheetah biology and ecology has greatly changed public attitudes toward predator – humans co-existence. The cheetah is still Africa’s most endangered big cat with only 10,000 cheetahs remaining.
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Excerpts and Image courtesy of http://www.cheetah.org