Ever heard of someone saying they are bonding cheetah?
We received 2 new 18-month-old cheetah males. One from Nkomazi Game Reserve in Mpumalanga, that was purchased through the EWT metapopulation programme, and one from Northwest Parks Board caught in the Kalahari, that was kindly sponsored to the DGR through Cheetah Outreach www.cheetah.co.za, an organisation focussed on the survival of the South African cheetah.
Here comes the interesting part…
We are busy with a bonding process to form a coalition which makes for better game viewing. We have restructured our predator boma to enable us to bond cheetah. The original boma of roughly one hectare was split into three sections. There are two separate areas to keep the cheetah separate and enclosed while forcing them to eat in closer proximity thus inducing the bonding process.
On 15/11/2021, together with Cheetah Outreach, we opened the gates of the smaller enclosures. Both males came out and came to the carcass on which they fed together with minimal to no aggression. They are already showing signs of bonding by lying in close proximity when not feeding.
The last step is to release them into the greater DGR. Such a process can take up to 30 days or longer depending on progress. It has been observed that the resident Amakhosi cheetah male is also frequenting the boma observing the new males.