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  • Writer's pictureLEO Africa


Cheetahs are not only the fastest land mammal, but they are also the most endangered big cat in Africa. With less than 7000 cheetahs left in the wild, every individual is precious. We monitor the cheetahs on @abelanagamereserve on a daily basis to make sure that they are in good condition, healthy and to collect valuable data.

A new female was released three months ago, and we all hoped she would meet the resident males. She first extensively explored the reserve, but after three months, it finally happened. We found her together with one of our male cheetahs (he is part of a coalition of two brothers). The mating pair stayed together for two days.

For those who aren't familiar with cheetahs, SEEING THE ACTUAL MATING IS VERY RARE IN THE WILD!

Cheetahs have a different social structure than lions and leopards and occur (usually) in much lower densities. Whereas both sexes are territorial in lions and leopard, with cheetahs only the males defend territories. And to make things even more complicated, only a part of the male population is normally territorial. The remaining males are known as "roamers/floaters”, they are not territorial and wander far and wide. Female cheetahs occupy home ranges, but don't defend these areas against other females, and these areas are normally huge. For this reason, male cheetahs rarely encounter females, so if they find a female in heat (or any adult female really), their hormones go in overdrive, and they will normally harass the female and try to mate with her. If the female is in heat, a mating pair stays together for anything between a few hours and 3 days. Mating occurs sporadically and not nearly as often as in other big cats.

We are proud and happy that the team of LEO Africa can contribute to the conservation of Africa’s most endangered big cat. Join our rangers and experience unforgettable moments in the field while contributing to the conservation of Africa’s iconic species and wild areas!

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