Akira’s story | Cheetah conservation at Kuzuko Lodge

Akira is the granddaughter of a famous cheetah called Sibella. Akira was born in April 2019, however shortly after her mother sustained a serious injury and rejected Akira. At the time, there was a cheetah family with similarly aged cubs at Kuzuko and our reserve manager, Gerhard de Lange, proposed attempting to bond Akira to the mother.

The bonding was a success, and Akira went on to learn to hunt with her adopted mother and siblings in one of our purpose-built cheetah wilding areas. At around 18 months old, the cubs and their mother naturally separated and Akira’s adopted family went on to new lives while Samara Private Game Reserve kindly donated Akira to Kuzuko.

In March 2021, Akira was released into a separate cheetah area before finally being released into the full game reserve in March 2022. Since then, she has been successfully establishing herself on the reserve and has possibly even been mated by our two recently released cheetah males, Tj and Kirk. With any luck, there will soon be another generation of cheetahs here at Kuzuko 🐾

As well as being a very special cat with a wonderful temperament who is close to our hearts, Akira also epitomises the cheetah conservation work we do at Kuzuko. There are roughly 508 cheetahs in Metapopulation Management across roughly 70 Reserves and Parks. South Africa is hosting the only growing population of cheetahs.

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