Cheetahs re-introduced into F State

2013-06-24 22:12
(Supplied)

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Johannesburg - Two male cheetahs have been re-introduced into the wild in the Free State to save the animals from extinction, the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) said on Monday.

"The Free State is the only province that has not had wild cheetah for over 100 years, and the two males released at Laohu Valley Reserve constitute the first wild cheetah in the province since they were eliminated from the Free State during the colonial period," Kelly Marnewick, manager of EWT’s carnivore conservation programme, said in a statement.

The Laohu reserve is near Philippolis.

Cheetah are classified as vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

It is estimated there are fewer than 1 000 of them in South Africa, Marnewick said.

The two cheetahs were born in July 2010 on Amakhala Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape. The cubs had, from birth, roamed free on the property and hunted and fended for themselves, Marnewick said.

"The reintroduction is the culmination of years of work and we are extremely excited to be returning this beautiful, fleet-footed African carnivore to the Free State."

Read more on:    ewt  |  bloemfontein  |  conservation  |  animals

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