Addo Region, 22nd October 2020 – Legacy Hotels & Resorts-managed Kuzuko Lodge recently celebrated the news that 3 cubs were born to Kuzuko’s newest resident (a female cheetah) introduced into its male collation in late 2019.
This achievement continues the lodge’s conservation milestone of adding diverse genetics into the Cheetah Metapopulation Project of the Endangered Wildlife Trust, with now close to 30 cheetahs from Kuzuko relocated into the CMP from 2007.
The cubs were spotted by Kuzuko Reserve General Manager, Gerhard de Lange who stressed the importance of their birth for the growth of the current cheetah metapopulation. “This is very exciting as these cubs, when grown, will be placed into the CMP of the EWT,” says de Lange. “From August 2018, our conservation team has successfully wilded 9 adult & sub-adult cheetahs that were then placed into the CMP by the EWT, through applying the lessons we learnt from our lion conservation successes.”
“These successes include wilding 2 lion cubs, orphaned in Addo Elephant National Park, to the point where they are wild, free & self-sustaining. We are also able to take Sylvester the lion & bonded him successfully into a male coalition with another male and integrated all 4 animals into a fully functioning lion pride.”
In addition to the existing cheetah conservation program at the lodge, Kuzuko has also entered into a captive-born & bred wilding and breeding program with Paarl-based Ashia and the EWT since August 2018. This programme resulted in several cubs, born from captive-bred & raised parents growing up wild & free, without being touched by humans.
“Incredibly all these cheetah cubs, are now sub-adults of around 16 months old, have started hunting & are well on their way to become vital members of the CMP,” concludes de Lange. “The fact these young animals are now totally self-sustaining is an achievement & we’re incredibly proud of the contribution the team & our partners have made to this milestone.”