A couple of weeks back we got wind through a friend living in Johannesburg, that his friend up in Namibia was holding 6 Cheetah on his farm. Knowing that most farmers would want them shot, the farmer was under pressure from his neighbouring farms to kill them as they had reportedly lost some stock to the mom and her cubs.
The farmer clearly wanted to help this endangered species, and we made an initial connection with Chris Moshosho at Africat to connect them with the farmer, after unsuccessful attempts at various other Namibian organisations and some local ones in South Africa too.
Here is the information and photos directly from Africat…
“This incredible mother cheetah and her 5 cubs were caught about 25 km north-east of Grootfontein on the farm Paarl, belonging to Mr Jos van Zyl. This environment is also invaded by thorny acacias and she would have shared her territory with leopard, brown hyaena and even wild dog perhaps at some time or other . . . She had been
in the area for a while and 3 farmers were after her!!!! She had been catching some livestock, but mostly game. She was caught about 4 weeks ago at one of the cattle posts and when
the ‘forgiving’, and more than usual compassionate farmer, realised that she had cubs, he set more traps and caught all 5. She was kept at the farmhouse in a chicken coup for the past 4 weeks.
From the OKONJIMA NATURE RESERVE, it is about a 4 hour drive there, and four back by truck. She was named Penta by the farmer,
because she was a mother of 5 cubs, but we might change that name and honour some of our very supportive donors, especially the lawyer that helped us sort out AfriCat UK, which will be back on track by 2013!?? The cubs are estimated at about 3 to 4 months old. The farmer was very
impressed with her managing to keep 5 cubs alive in some very thick bush, therefore he did not want to destroy her, but rather find her a more suited home, even though she caused him a lot of damage.
NAMIBIA IS THE LAST STRONGHOLD OF CHEETAH! IT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE SURE THIS SPECIES SURVIVES IN THIS COUNTRY – and not only just ‘survives’, but stays the ‘Home’ of large numbers, still running wild and living off the land. AfriCat supports a more tolerant landowner, but the
farmers do not have it easy and in this country they have to live with many different predators – all dangerous; all hunters!
North Americans & Europeans might have to deal with the fox, OR the cougar, OR the wolf, OR the lynx – but very few have to deal with 2 species of Hyenas, leopard, cheetah, lion, wild dog, jackal and caracal – and in certain areas in Namibia, ALL IN ONE AREA!
Conservation Through Education is the most effective way to change the thought pattern of a generation, but this takes time. In the mean time foundations like AfriCat and the Government- need to work together and assist farmers where we can, offering advice on how to try and co-exist and sharing our research results with the farming community.”