With only 9,000 to 12,000 cheetahs left in the wild, this magnificent species has become critically endangered due to loss of habitat and cheetah-human conflict. Conflict occurs when cheetahs are wrongly blamed for livestock losses and subsequently killed by angry farmers.
How we help
Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors is working in partnership with De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Trust and Cheetah Outreach, both located in South Africa. Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors works with each organisation to support cheetah releases, tracking, monitoring and local education to reduce the cheetah-human conflict.
Through vital research and the facilitation of a cheetah tracking program, De Wildt and Cheetah Outreach have found that the cheetah is a nomadic animal and often only crosses the same property once every two weeks, proving to farmers that a cheetah may not even be in the area when their livestock has been killed.
This information is helping to change the tide and is producing a number of ‘cheetah friendly' farmers. In exchange for a small fee, these friendly farmers contact De Wildt when a cheetah is located on their property, and rather than killing the animal, they assist De Wildt to capture and relocate the cheetah to a safe area.
To date, De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Trust have successfully relocated over one hundred wild cheetah. The cheetah are fitted with a radio collar and tracking system, which send SMS messages containing regular location reports and updates, allowing us to further learn about the habits of this magnificent creature.
Funds raised through Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors also support the Anatolian Shepherd Dog Program, a non-lethal method of managing predators and promoting a much happier co-existence between cheetah and farmer.
The Anatolian Shepherd Dog Program provides farmers with an Anatolian Shepherd dog, a large, noble and powerful livestock guardian. From six weeks of age, these incredibly intelligent and brave dogs are raised exclusively with their herd and trained to protect them from any prying predators. Standing at an impressive 70cm tall, their job is to bark to scare any predator that may come within close range of their flock. Being a timid and shy creature, cheetahs are quick to retreat from a barking dog, resulting in a win-win situation for both the cheetah and farmer. Farmers in South Africa can now allow their dog to guard the livestock and not be encouraged to shoot or kill the cheetah when seen in the area. This program is at no cost to the farmers.
We are proud to assist the efforts of these crucial programs in securing the future of this threatened and truly magnificent big cat.