Two cheetah brothers born in the UK have arrived safely in South Africa for Rewilding. Saba & Niro travelled almost 10,000 km from Howletts Wild Animal Park, near Canterbury to Ashia’s Cheetah Centre in Cape Town.

Image: Supplied

This is the first time that any captive-born cheetah has left the UK to be rewilded in Africa. The pair will eventually move to Mount Camdeboo Private Game Reserve, a 14,000 hectare property in the Karoo town of Graaff-Reinet. There, they will form part of a rewilding process successfully developed and applied over the last two years by the Ashia Cheetah Sanctuary.

Chantal Rischard, founder of Ashia said:

‘Many cheetah have done a similar long journey in the past, as did the ancestors of these two cats some generations ago, with one small difference: the starting point was somewhere in Africa and at the end of their journey in Europe there wasn’t a free life waiting for them, but a captive life in a zoo,’



She added:

‘Ashia is immensely proud of Damian and Victoria Aspinall for leading this project and for going through all the paperwork and financial burden to give Saba and Nairo the chance to walk on the wild side of their homeland.

‘We are relieved that these two magnificent cats have arrived safely and will give them the best (hands-off) care possible during their transition and preparation period while at Ashia,’


Image: Supplied

The cheetah brothers are  being temporarily held in a spacious camp and feeding on a venison-only diet, in preparation for their new life in the wild.



Iain Buchanan, owner of Mount Camdeboo said:

‘There are so many benefits on all fronts, increasing the genetic diversity of this species will mean that they have a greater chance of survival indefinitely. This is also a call to all zoos globally that it is indeed possible to rewild certain animals and that they can have an important role to play in the greater mission of conservation,’

Image: Supplied

Here’s to hoping that the program is a success and the brothers live long and happy lives in the wild, adding strength to the vulnerable wild cheetah population!