Beginning of this year a few excited guests came into our reception because they had seen a Cheetah. This is quite unusual since we don’t have any Cheetah on Kololo. The guest in question had worked in a safari reserve for 8 years so he was 100% sure of what he had seen. Tanya and Jacques investigated the specific location, didn’t find any tracks or the Cheetah on Kololo, but did find an Impala baby kill with recognizable bite marks from a Cheetah.
Because Kololo doesn’t have the necessary permits to house a Cheetah and there wouldn’t have been enough wildlife to maintain it, we contacted The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT). With EWT we made a plan for a relocation to a different reserve. Together with EWT and a helicopter we were able to dart her, did some medical tests and charted her DNA for research purposes. All seemed to be going very well, but unfortunately, the stress of this whole procedure was too much for her and she passed away as we were loading here into the trailer.
We were all very saddened by the whole ordeal, especially because we were trying to do what was best for the animal. But we are very proud of this team effort; 1 vet, 4 lodge managers, 3 rangers, 1 lodge assistant, 3 maintenance members, 2 chefs all working together for nature conservation!
Because we didn’t want the whole ordeal to have been for nothing, we haven been busy with getting the paperwork in order for Taxidermy (this took us no less than 4 months!). Special moulds are made for mounting animals, but for Cheetahs there are hardly any available. Our local taxidermy produced the mould specifically for this cheetah to mount it as realistic as possible. We are very happy with the results; we will be using this beautiful animal for education purposes for our guides and guests.