css menu builder by Css3Menu.com

Escaping Cheetah and methods of recapture utilised

Cheetah have reportedly escaped from 28 Metapopulation reserves. Only 27% of Metapopulation reserves are sufficiently fenced such that no Cheetah have ever escaped their properties. Cheetah reportedly escape from reserves due to:

  • holes dug under fences by Warthog (vast majority of cases).
  • periods of heavy flooding when fences are washed away.
  • holes made in fences by fleeing prey.
  • the presence of large boulders adjacent to boundary fences.
  • inadequate fencing.

Most recaptures appear to take place within a day and the problem is solved by either:

  • calling a vet in, darting and returning the escapee.
  • using meat or carcasses to lure Cheetah back. Fences are opened near the meat/carcasses.
  • dragging kills made outside the reserve back in.
  • using a Profox Cheetah caller to lure escapees.

In many cases Cheetah that escape return naturally. In one particular case three young cubs became isolated from their mother and escaped into a neighbouring reserve. The adult female was darted and put into a holding cage. The holding cage was inserted into a larger boma in the neighbouring reserve and the cubs were recaptured when they entered the boma. When there is a possibility of livestock losses, helicopters are often used to dart escapees. Waterberg and Kalahari reserves located in areas with free roaming Cheetah do not make attempts to recapture escapees. Four Metapopulation Cheetah are recorded to have died after escaping. One animal was driven over on a public road in the Lowveld and one was killed after its leg was broken by a gin trap. Two Cheetah were shot after being mistaken for other predators, namely Leopard and Caracal (Felis caracal). The escape of Cheetah from small fenced reserves can be prevented by:

  • patrolling reserve fencelines on a daily basis and closing up holes dug by Warthog.
  • removing boulders or trees immediately adjacent reserve fencelines that enable escape
  • improving boundary fencelines to the prescribed height of 2.4m and adding an electrical trip wire strand to the inside of the fence.