The story of Bubbles, the wild cheetah.......continued

September 2008
It is now six months since the cheetahs left Makulu Makete. Bubbles has settled in well at her new home at Hlambanyati Reserve in Kwazulu Natal, and is hunting successfully. We hope to get photos of her soon. One of the two female cubs was relocated to Tswalu Reserve in the Northern Cape. We received very sad news from De Wildt that after her release, she was attacked by the resident male cheetah and died of her injuries. This is most distressing to us, who remember her playing so happily with her brothers and sister here at Makulu Makete. In July, the remaining four cubs were transferred from Shingwedzi to Monate Reserve, near Nylstrom in Limpopo Province, where they will stay until their new homes are ready.

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Here are the cubs, being released into a big boma (enclosure) at Monate in July 2008. Kelly, from the De Wildt Wild Cheetah Project, and Wimpie, who will be caring for the cheetahs at Monate, look just as pleased as the cubs. What smiles on all their faces!

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In late August, Narinda visited "her" cubs at Monate, seeing them for the first time since they left Makulu Makete. She thought they had not grown much, but that they were more nervous with people than they had been. However, they were not too nervous to polish off an impala carcass, after which they lazed around with fat bellies (size 4 on a scale of 1 to 5).

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This is the surviving female cheetah, which Narinda recognised by the clear "M" shaped dots on her forehead. She has been named "Mitchy" at Monate. Does she remember Narinda?

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The cubs lie snoozing after their meal of impala, still closely bonded with each other.

Photos of wild cheetahs are not easy to get. You often get the best views when you donít have a camera with you, or when the lighting is bad. The cheetahs are not always co-operative - they donít pose and they prefer to sit in the shade. These photos have been taken by the following people, using different cameras, over several months -
Scott and Kim Sanderson, Melbourne, Australia
Jane and Peter Philip, Makulu Makete Wildlife Reserve
Narinda Pentz, Conservator, Makulu Makete
Alan Strachan, De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Centre, Pretoria, South Africa
Rosamund Whittle, formerly Ecologist at Makulu Makete and now of Corea Game Farm, Alldays, South Africa
Aaron Hiibel, Nevada, USA
Nkabeng (Bennie) Maruping, South Africa
Jim Rogers, USA

Contact Details:

Makulu Makete Wildlife Reserve
PO Box 227
Alldays 0909
South Africa
Tel: +27 82 903 8697


The De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Trust, our partner in cheetahs.