Discussion in 'South Africa' started by vogelcommando, 17 Mar 2017.
Boy attacted by cheetah :
Cheetah attacks NZ boy in South Africa
Not seeing any reviews on Emdoneni, hereby mine.
I visites Emdoneni cat rehabilitation centre a few weeks ago during holidays. I never heard of it before but I past by on my way to my lodge several times. I decided to visit it in a morning when I didn't have enough time to visit one of the National Parks in the area.
The species they have are: cheetah, serval, caracal and African wildcats. They have permits to hold a maximum of 12 animals per species. They don't keep that many cheetah but the other species will be close to that number. Enclosures look well maintained and all the animals seem to be in good health.
Groups of maximum 20 people are allowed to visit and also to enter some enclosures with two guides. Children under 16 years were not allowed to visit the cheetah enclosures. We visites a cheetah (2 calm male cheetah in it), caracal (group of 1-2), serval (1 very tame one) and African wildcat enclosure (again a group of 1-2). I didn't like that petting an African wildcat was allowed and that you could have a picture taken with a cheetah (this one without petting and staying around 2 meters behind him). Both things I didn't do.
The rules stated on their website were not kept during the visit (crunching down was allowed, no rabies vaccination checks, sudden movements did occur, interaction was allowed...).
The releasing back in the wild seems to be legit, with several well documented cases. But I couldn't find any data on the succes rate after release. The cheetah (1 till date and 2 ready for transfer) are only released in private parks with no other big predators. The two ready for release were still in sight for visitors, and still did seem to be well adopted to having people around. For sure the enclosure were spacious, but not big enough for them to sprint full speed and (at least I could see any) no system (like a rail) was in place to train a high speed chase. I van Imagine that the smaller cats are a bit easier to rewild. Their website states that they did release 19 serval, 12 caracal and 7 African wildcats.
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