06 Oct New Life for Cheetah Cubs at Botlierskop
We are absolutely thrilled to announce that the female cheetah, Catja, wilded and released through Ashia Cheetah Conservation, gave birth to 3 beautiful and healthy cubs at the end of July here on Botlierskop Game Reserve. She kept them mostly hidden in the den for the first weeks, as a careful cheetah mother should.
With some successful sightings while on game drive, these three little ones are very playful and curious, climbing the smaller trees and exploring the fynbos. They still suckle on mom every now and then but have also had their first taste of springbok and impala which they love. These cheetah cubs are a joy to see at Botlierskop Game Reserve. She is doing a great job and we are so proud of her, given the stories of both her and Hobbes, the father of these cubs and the difficult journeys they’ve had in life…
The father of the cubs, Hobbes, underwent rehabilitation at Ashia’s Center after a fractured hind leg and subsequent surgeries undertaken by Dr Caldwell. After two years, he was ready to leave and was released onto Botlierskop in March of this year. The mom, Catja suffered a bad knee injury whilst hunting in 2020, which required 5 surgeries performed by Dr Peter Caldwell. After 8 months at the Old Chapel Vet Clinic, Catja was flown to Ashia’s Center to begin the next phase of recovery. As with all rehabilitation, patience is key. During one of Dr Caldwell’s visits, he was able to see her in action in the running enclosure and was confident in giving us the go ahead for her release onto a soft reserve and join Hobbes on Botlierskop Game Reserve. Given that Catja and Hobbes both sustained injuries previously and have a physical disadvantage, they are in a lion and hyena-free area to offer a better chance of survival.
Dr. Willem Burger and the reserve team have monitored their physical condition and re-adaptation into the protected wild since release.
We couldn’t have hoped for better news for these new cheetahs as they are exploring the reserve with their mother. There is now a new population of cheetahs calling Botlierskop home and we couldn’t be happier!
📷 Bertie Guillaume