Two cheetahs born in captivity in the UK have arrived in South Africa to begin their rewilding journey.

The two-and-a-half-year-old brothers, Saba and Nairo, who were born at Howletts Wild Animal Park in Kent, arrived on February 7 at Ashia’s Cheetah Centre in Paarl, W Cape, which will be their home during their transition and preparation period.

“We are relieved that these two magnificent cats have arrived safely and we will give them the best (hands-off) care possible while at Ashia," says Chantal Rischard, Founder of Ashia.

The brothers were welcomed to their new, spacious camp with a meal of fresh springbok, which they devoured, and have since been making themselves at home in their new environment.

"The Aspinall Foundation’s animal team already started with Ashia’s pre-wilding protocol during the boys’ last weeks at Howletts and we are confident that they will be ready in a matter of weeks to take their next rewilding step," says Rischard.  

Damian Aspinall, Chairman of The Aspinall Foundation said: "Thanks to an incredible and dedicated team of experts, we have accomplished a world-first. Two cheetahs born and raised in the UK have taken their first steps on African soil.