History of the Emdoneni Cheetah Project
The Emdoneni Cheetah Project was started by Ida Nel (our mom) who always had a passion and love for wild animals, especially cheetah. Ida received the first 3 cheetahs from Eshowe (Nandi, Jabu & Tau) in 1994. They all died of old age. They were all between the ages of 16 and 18 years. (Cheetahs live longer in captivity because they don’t have the stresses and physical ability to hunt their own food. No predators also make it easier for them).
Not long after receiving the original Cheetahs we received one injured Serval – and then it all happened; Emdoneni Cheetah project started.
People learnt that injured or orphaned cat species could be brought to us for care and love. We are currently working closely with KZN Parks Board Wildlife Services who assist us in releasing off-spring back into the wild. Successful releasing of Serval, Caracal and African Wildcat has been done in Charters Creek, Phinda Game Reserve, Mkuze Falls Game Reserve and in the Bushlands area.
Emdoneni has successfully managed a “Cheetah Project” since 1994 and a “Serval project” since 1998 and part or vision is to provide and maintain an environmentally friendly and aesthetic wildlife centre.
The value of this project is illustrated by favorable reports from international and local visitors whom have commented on the environmental education value of this project.
The primary objective and purpose of the project is to facilitate environmental education and conservation of Cheetahs (currently listed as endangered by the IUCN) and Servals (becoming increasingly threatened through habitat loss and hunting), African Wildcat (in-breeding) and Caracals (killed by farmers).