The first captive-born male cheetah – released from Ashia’s Breeding, Wilding and Release Project – has sired two cubs with a wild female in the Amakhala Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape.

Following his release into the reserve in September 2019, the male cheetah (Ivory) was seen mating with the area’s resident female a month later.

"We would like to welcome our newest members to Amakhala, two healthy, adorable cheetah cubs," says Natalie Fowler, resident Ecologist at Amakhala Game Reserve. 

Caption: Photo credit: Lisa Graham

“We are also very proud that the joint Breeding, Wilding and Release Project between Kuzuko and Ashia has finally achieved its ultimate goal: raising the cheetah numbers of the South African metapopulation through the birth of wild cubs," said Founder of Ashia, Chantal Rischard.

Ivory had previously been used for ‘cub petting’ and was purchased by Ashia on the recommendation of Gerhard de Lange from Kuzuko Lodge.

The Breeding, Wilding and Release Project focuses primarily on the wilding and introduction of captive-bred cheetahs and their offspring into the protected wild. The ultimate purpose is to strengthen the gene pool and to secure a viable cheetah metapopulation in South Africa to prevent the further decline of cheetah numbers in the wild.