By KIM HELFRICH
JOHANNESBURG - A 10-year expansion and reintroduction programme has resulted in the release of four cheetahs into the Mountain Zebra National Park in the Eastern Cape.
Two male cheetahs from the De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Trust were let loose in the 28 412ha park last Thursday, followed a few hours later by two 13-month-old females from the Samara Game Reserve near Graaff-Reinet.
Two more cheetah will be released within the next six months.
The release restores the predator/prey balance and enriches the biodiversity of the park near Cradock, said SANParks regional manager Lucius Moolman.
The introduction of cheetah is a “fitting finale” to a 10-year long programme made possible by the fundraising efforts of the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation and others including the Barbara Delano Foundation, Sasol and WildAid.