Unfortunately we have experienced a setback. Two of our collared released cheetahs have died. The first was shot by a farmer who didn’t know whether it was a cheetah or leopard. Proving that we need to work harder on the education front of our programming. Having an accurate knowledge of species can help farmers plan for improved mitigation of predation on their livestock. When we visited his farm to retrieve the collar he said he didn’t know much about the predators but he was interested in attending our farmer training courses. We gave him the information and hope to see him at an upcoming course.
Sadly the second cat to die was Bob, a tailless male that we had seen in our camera surveys for the past few years. This year was the first to see him without his brother. While we do not know the fate of his brother we do know that Bob died of natural causes. He was found at a waterhole next to a warthog carcass. It appeared that the warthog injured him during the hunt.
Since these two losses we have collared and released another male and await the fourth. The magnificent dominant male weighing 54kgs received a complete medical workup that showed him to be healthy. We collected many samples and froze his sperm in our GRB. His release was a beautiful expression of the freedom and power of this most amazing champion of speed.
We continue to check the traps twice a day with the help of our Earthwatch volunteers.