‘Rogue’ big cats a problem and a delight at Addo

ROAMING FREE: The cheetahs have been caught on camera, but not yet by rangers
ROAMING FREE: The cheetahs have been caught on camera, but not yet by rangers

TWO elusive cheetahs that have gate-crashed their way into the Addo Elephant National Park have been playing hide-and-seek with authorities there to the delight of visitors.

The animals have had officials scratching their heads about what to do with them for the past three months, during which time the animals have jumped through an electric fence, escaped from a boma and largely evaded capture in the southern section of the park, near Colchester.

Park spokeswoman Fayroush Ludick yesterday confirmed rangers were involved in efforts to tame the creatures.

“A tourist first sighted the animals and alerted a ranger about their presence in the park. We do have a small cheetah population in the northern section of the park.

“However, historically, cheetahs have never appeared in the southern section of the park.

“For biodiversity reasons, the animals will have to be removed from this section.”

Visitors have taken to the park’s Facebook pages to document the big cats’ sightings.

“Let’s just say the two are very elusive. We are not sure what we will do with them,” Ludick said.

Meanwhile, the park has upped a reward for information about the recent poisoning of 44 jackals to R50000. It had initially offered R22000.

Conservation manager John Adendorff said there were suspects, and “hopefully raising the reward will help” trace those responsible. – Xolisa Phillip

Leave a Reply