Following discussions with Wildlife ACT the Foundation purchased several cheetah monitoring collars to assess the cheetah populations with in Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park. It was believed that as many as 18 roamed the park. There had been no work carried out on the population for many years and no introduction of new animals for as many as 30 years.
Eventually 3 cats were darted and collared. Over a period of months following the animals daily, the total amount of cheetah was re-assessed to number no more that 6 or 7. This was no longer a viable breeding nucleus.
The Forever Wild Foundation readily accepted the challenge to assist in any way to turn this sorry state of affairs around. Over a period of a few months we have financially and materially assisted in introducing 6 new cheetah into the park. It has been a revelation what can be achieved with limited resources and unlimited determination. It is our intention to locate and introduce a further 6 animals into the park.
I have often been asked why our interest in assisting to the extent we do in Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park. The answer is simple. When both the black and white rhino populations were almost exterminated, Dr Ian Player, working with Hluhluwe Imfolozi resurrected the breeding populations to the extent where almost every rhino in Southern Africa can trace its gene pool back to this park. The same has occurred with the painted dog population. I believe the same level of success can be attained for the decimated cheetah population of Africa.