Two of the cheetahs that broke into Addo Elepphant National Park have been captured by rangers and will be moved to a private KwaZulu-Natal reserve, with the third still roaming free.
According to SANParks, the three males found their way into the park back in 2014. However, cheetahs do not and never have naturally occurred in the Addo region.
The parks regulator has thus seen it fit to move the animals to a more appropriate location, Phinda Private Game Reserve, as part of the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Cheetah Metapopulation Project.
“The three caused great excitement among guests, who had never before 2014 seen cheetah in Addo’s game viewing area,” SANParks says. “They had been the topic of many discussions since, with some groups planning visits to the Park with the specific hope of capturing them on film.”
Several private reserves in the Eastern Cape, including the likes of Mount Camdeboo, Samara and Kwandwe, host cheetahs. SANParks, however, manages its cheetahs in their native habitats in order to prevent inbreeding and escapes.
Addo’s Conservation Manager, John Adendorff, says that the pair should form a coalition in their new home, hopefully meeting up with fertile females.