The story below arises from a Bateleurs mission, flown by pilot Marc Watson, on 22 October 2004, to relocate a female cheetah from the De Wildt Wildlife Trust to the Samara Reserve in the Karoo. The relocation was part of an effort to increase the cheetah population in South Africa. Since October 2004 that same female cheetah, named Sibella, has produced and raised three litters (18 cubs) at Samara. Sibella is now ten years old and has just produced her latest litter of another two cubs.
Full Story Below.
Sibella Does it again! 2 more cubs to add to the highly endangered Cheetah population in South Africa
It was discovered, late on Thursday afternoon that Sibella the wild miracle cheetah had given birth to two healthy cubs during the past 5 days.
Hayley, the Volunteer Programme Manager and Test, the Head Ranger, who were the first to see them, said:
“We cannot begin to describe the surprise, excitement, pride and privilege we felt at Samara. It had been 5 days since we last found Sibella, Samara’s famous cheetah. We knew she had moved up into the mountains from the signal on our telemetry, and when she still hadn’t come down today we thought we would investigate. After a grueling hike up the mountain Test spotted her.
When Test said, “She’s got cubs!” I absolutely did not believe him. Sibella is 10 years old this year. She’s already given birth to and raised 3 litters – 18 cubs in total, a miracle by cheetah standards. And yet here she is, nestled under a slight overhang of rocks, nurturing two of the tiniest fluffiest creatures I’ve ever seen.
Sibella looked up at us, proudly, accepting our presence at this special time – an incredible testament to this cheetah’s character and trust of humans. We stood within 3 metres of this little family, and as we watched, Sibella groomed her young.
There are less than 1000 cheetah left in South Africa and now, thanks to this inspiring individual, there are 2 more. For everyone who has contributed to conservation in one capacity or another – this small and yet gigantic success is affirmation that the race is not over … we can make a difference, we can save our planet. For Samara, this event is another reminder of what is possible when a vision is brought to life. What could be a better example of this vision in practice than new life – born in an area where not long ago, such an event would have been impossible? Sibella has touched the lives of so many over the years, and everyone who has seen her has, by visiting Samara, played a part in this success story. Sibella was the first cheetah to be reintroduced into the Karoo in 125 years, and against all odds she’s given us hope. “
Sarah Tompkins and The Samara Team