INTRODUCTION TO THE PROJECT
Emdoneni Lodge Cheetah Project began in 1994 when 3 captivity reared adult cheetah were in need of a home, and having land available and a passion for wildlife, we offered to care for them. This was all done with the aid of the then Natal Parks Board at the time (now EKZN Wildlife Services), including permits and transport. The project later expanded to include Serval, Caracal and African Wild Cats.
The purpose of the Project is to facilitate Environmental Education and the Conservation of CHEETAH (currently listed as endangered) and SERVALS (becoming increasingly threatened through habitat loss and hunting), as well as Caracal (African Lynx) and African Wildcats, which are also under threat, albeit to a lesser degree.
HISTORY OF THE PROJECT
The Project at Emdoneni was started by Ida Nel (Louis Nel’s mother), who always had a passion and love for wild animals, especially cheetah. She received the rest three cheetah from Namibia in 1994. They both died of old age between the ages of 16 –18 years, while in captivity at Emdoneni Lodge. In 2000 Louis and Cecillie Nel took over the project and grew the project from 2 cheetah and 2 serval to what it is today.
Not long after receiving the cheetahs we received one injured serval and then it all happened. Emdoneni Lodge with Cheetah Project really started. People learned that injured or orphaned cat species could be brought to us for care and love.
FROM THE OWNERS’ HEARTS
I think I could turn and live with the animals, they are so placid and self-contained;
I stand and look at them long and long. – By Walt Whitman
A million times we’ve needed you,
A million times we’ve cried.
If love alone could have saved you,
You never would have died. – Author: unknown
We truly have One Heart, One Passion, One Goal, to save these rare species. How privileged we are to take care of these amazing animals. Once you have met them you will remember and keep them in your hearts for ever!
We thank all of you who support us from the bottom of our hearts.
The Nel Family
Take a look at some of our cat pictures: