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World First for Cheetah Conservation
The two cheetah from Howletts Wild Animal Park are the latest animals moved by The Aspinall Foundation from the UK to a new life in the wilds of their ancestral homeland of South Africa. This groundbreaking project is the first time a hand-raised cheetah has left the UK for rewilding in Africa.
Saba & Nairo, who were born at Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve, left the UK in February to move to Ashia Cheetah Sanctuary to settle in and prepare for the wild. In June, the pair moved to Mount Camdeboo Private Reserve where they are currently undergoing a rewilding process innovatively designed by the Ashia team.
Very soon, Saba & Nairo will have learned to hunt for themselves and will be released into an area of protected wilderness at Mount Camdeboo, where they will live wild and free for the rest of their lives!
None of this is possible without your support. We aim to raise £100,000 to fund the move, rewilding, release and continued monitoring of Saba & Nairo. Donating just £10 will bring the boys one step closer to their new life in South Africa.Follow us for updates
Why have we moved them?
In the wild, cheetah numbers are dangerously low. An estimated 6,674 individuals remain and the wild population needs all the support we can offer.
Most of the wild population in South Africa live in protected reserves and national parks. Those populations are becoming increasingly related. Saba & Nairo will bring much-needed new genes to the breeding program.
We at The Aspinall Foundation believe that, wherever possible, animals born in our UK parks should be released into protected areas of their natural habitat. We have already successfully rewilded animals in Congo, Gabon, Java, South Africa, Tanzania and China.
Support Saba & Nairo's journey home
We need to raise £100,000 for the relocation, rewilding, release and continued monitoring of Saba & Nairo.
Meet The Boys
Saba was hand-raised by Aspinall Foundation Chairman Damian and his wife, Victoria. Saba was still very affectionate to his early carers but became less accepting of others before leaving. When he was younger, Saba liked to play chase and wrestle but now prefers to lie back and watch the world go by
Nairo, Saba’s littermate brother, was raised by his mother and, at the time he would naturally have dispersed from his family, came to join Saba. Nairo is very gentle and accepting and soon made friends with Saba. He is far stockier than his brother; he is the muscle and Saba is the brains.
Ashia Cheetah Sanctuary
Mount Camdeboo is a 14,000 hectare private game reserve in Great Karoo. The founders have a passion for conservation and their stunning property is now home to several rescued and rehabilitated endangered species.
The reserve is home to the first elephant bull rescued by The Aspinall Foundation and partners in October 2019. The Mount Camdeboo team were also instrumental in the dramatic rescue of 11 elephants, 4 giraffe, 29 wildebeest and 19 buffalo from Blaauwbosch Reserve a few weeks later.
After they have successfully rewilded, Saba & Nairo will live #BackToTheWild on the expansive Mount Camdeboo reserve and will be carefully monitored by their expert team.
Ashia Cheetah Sanctuary
Ashia, a world-class cheetah sanctuary near Cape Town in South Africa’s Western Cape, was founded to help prevent the further decline of cheetah populations and to increase the gene pool through its captive breeding, wilding and release program. Ashia is successfully returning captive born cheetahs into the protected wild of South African game reserves and national parks.
Ashia started its Breeding, Wilding and Release Program mid 2018 in cooperation with Kuzuko Lodge, a 15,000 ha private game reserve in the greater Addo area, Eastern Cape. So far 9 cheetah, all born and raised in human care, have been successfully wilded. Two females have given birth in the breeding sections and their cubs are earmarked for final release on game reserves by end of 2020. Four cheetah have already been translocated from the wilding sections to their final release destinations on pre-selected game reserves within the South African Cheetah Metapopulation, coordinated by the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT).
Ashia will continuously wild captive-born cheetah and release self-sustaining cats into pre-selected areas identified, inspected and approved by Ashia’s management. Whenever a cat is ready to leave the wilding program for final release, the available space in the wilding sections, either at Kuzuko or at Mount Camdeoo, is immediately used to prepare the next generation for their walk on the wild side.
Help us make a REAL difference
Ground-breaking conservation work carried out by The Aspinall Foundation is only possible with the support of individual donors. You can join us and help not only to protect the future for these cheetah brothers, but also support our ongoing re-wilding programme. Please donate now and type cheetah in the comments box when you complete your details.Donate