ADOPTIONSAdopt a Cheetah
You can become a ‘parent” to one of HESC’s Cheetahs by symbolic adoption... for yourself or as a gift for someone else.
CHEETAH ADOPTION – ZAR 28 500.00
With this adoption type you get the opportunity to become an independent adoptive supporter of any available cheetah for a full year.
This adoption includes: 1) name your cheetah; 2) a personalized adoption certificate; 3) a gift, electronic updates throughout the year, a subscription to HESC’s Cheetah Chat; and 4) a board with your name on it, in the specific cheetah’s enclosure.
How are the funds allocated towards cheetah care?
- Food and supplements for the cheetah
- Vaccinations and inoculations
- Any medical attention the cheetah may require
- Maintenance of the cheetahs enclosure
- A percentage goes towards HESC’s research on nutritional management of cheetah in captivity
- A percentage also goes back to the community, to help educate the less privileged about conservation
About our Cheetahs
According to the 2016 Red List of Mammals of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland, the cheetah continues to be listed as Vulnerable in South Africa.
Estimates of cheetah population numbers are never accurate as the animal occurs in low densities in nature and is not easily seen in the wild. A recently published study (December 2016) by ZSL (Zoological Society of London), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Panthera, reveals that just 7,100 cheetahs remain globally, representing the best available estimate for the species to date. Furthermore, the cheetah has been driven out of 91% of its historic range.
- Southern Africa has about 4,190 cheetahs with the largest subpopulation of 3,940 cheetahs in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, SW Zambia and SW Mozambique.
- There are about 1,326 cheetahs in South Africa and Zimbabwe has only about 165 cheetahs left.
- According to The 2016 Red List of Mammals of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland, the South African population of free-roaming animals is estimated at between 400–800 individuals.
- Within the large protected areas of the Kruger National Park, the population size is estimated at 412 individuals and within the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, 80 individuals.
Cheetah populations are genetically very uniform or monomorphic. Wild cheetahs often occur in small isolated or patch populations that lead to further narrowing of the gene pool. Therefore, HESC’s breeding programme aims to ensure the birth of cheetahs with distinctly different genetic lineages. Where possible these animals are used to support gene diversity in wild populations.
Cheetahs that have been bred in captivity can be released in protected areas in the wild after the animals have gone through a process of adjustment or ‘rewilding’. During this period the animals are transferred to large enclosed areas which have a suitable prey base in a habitat of mixed open savanna and grassland, as cheetahs prefer open areas to hunt. Then the rations fed to the animals are reduced over time so as to entice them to hunt natural prey. The animals need to be closely monitored during this time to evaluate their suitability for possible reintroduction. It is preferable that the wilding area is free of predators , or has a low population of predators that may prey upon the cheetahs as captive bred animals will need time to adapt and become aware of the threat to survival that other predators may represent.