Rhino Conservation
October 14, 2014

The Magnificent Zululand Rhino Reserve Cheetah

Cheetahs are one of the most beautiful, graceful and swift predators found on Zululand Rhino Reserve (ZRR) in South Africa. There are currently 11 Zululand Rhino Reserve cheetah covering an area of 23000ha. The cheetah found on this reserve also have an amazing breeding track record.[caption id="attachment_7988" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]

Cheetah drawing ZRR

A drawing of a cheetah by our talented monitor Zoë Luhdo[/caption]

This year alone the Zululand Rhino Reserve cheetah population have been blessed with one litter of four cubs,

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Zululand Rhino Reserve Cheetah Cubs

Two of the four cheetah cubs - photograph by Michelle Swemmer[/caption]

a second litter of five cubs,

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Zululand Rhino Reserve Cheetah Cubs

Five Zululand Rhino Reserve cheetah cubs - photograph by wildlife volunteer Tracy Baving[/caption]

and as you can see by the photos we are expecting a third litter soon!

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Pregnant female cheetah

Pregnant female cheetah - photograph by Andre, the Mavela Lodge Guide[/caption]Cheetahs reach sexual maturity at about two years of age and have a gestation period of approximately three months. The average litter size is four cubs however due to predation and availability of resources, only 50% of cheetah cubs reach sexual maturity.The cubs are born blind and open their eyes after 10-12 days. At the age of three to six weeks (depending on various factors) they are able to move around with their mother. At the age of 8-12 months the cubs become independent hunters and leave their mother.Cheetah are listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. They face various threats ranging from habitat degradation and fragmentation, prosecution by farmers and natural threats such as disease and other predators.That why cheetahs that are able to successfully breed in wild (like the Zululand Rhino Reserve cheetah), are so important to the survival of the species as a whole.

Learn more about this vulnerable species and find out what you can do to help

Written by Zoë Luhdo