Cheetah cubs hidden in grass

Cheetah cubs hid­den in grass

Cheetah cubs were born in early November in a field between Small World restau­rant off Mombasa Highway. The herders tak­ing live­stock into the field near the cement plant were fright­ened when the mother came out of the grass and tried to dis­tract the herder away from her five pre­cious cubs. The herder alerted the man­ager who con­tacted KWS to ask if the mother could be removed from the prop­erty. When ACK heard about the cubs we vis­ited the Small World offices to let them know how lucky the were to have one of maybe 200 female chee­tahs giv­ing birth on their prop­erty. We talked to the herders to let them know that if the mother was not killing live­stock she was not a threat. He took us to the cubs so we could ver­ify that they were indeed chee­tahs and that they were healthy and unharmed. The herders ver­i­fied that the mother had been killing only wild game and that despite the close graz­ing of shoats and cat­tle, she had never even attempted to kill live­stock. Although the herders were still afraid of the mother who would hiss, growl and stomp at them if they saw her in the field, we assured them that chee­tahs do not kill people.

We also asked our neigh­bor, Michael Mbithi to pass by and talk to the owner and herders. He con­firmed what we told them about the kind nature of the chee­tah and that these cubs were very essen­tial for the health of the chee­tah pop­u­la­tion in the Athi Kapiti region.
Traffic on Mombasa Highway threatens cheetahs and other wildlife

Traffic on Mombasa Highway threat­ens chee­tahs and other wildlife

The owner, man­ager and herders agreed that the mother chee­tah and her cubs could remain on the prop­erty. The next day, the owner called KWS to let them know that the chee­tah could stay with her cubs. About two weeks later the man­ager called us to let us know that the mother and cubs had been seen enter­ing the Game Ranching bound­ary, away from the high­way traf­fic. Once the peo­ple in the area real­ized how rare chee­tah and her cubs are in Kenya, they began to worry about their safety in such close prox­im­ity to the busy Mombasa Highway. Earlier in 2013 one of the three chee­tahs killed on the high­way was near the entry to Small World. The Small World Staff went from being fear­ful of the chee­tahs to being wor­ried about their future.

In late December, Game Ranching staff saw her still with all five cubs fol­low­ing her. She was head­ing in the direc­tion of Kapiti Estate. While we know that the high­way is still a great threat to the chee­tahs in the Athi-Kapiti region, we are hope­ful that this mother and her cubs will remain in the ranch and con­tinue to hunt only game ani­mals while the peo­ple of the region share the range land with chee­tahs and their prey. 

Looking across the field you would never know of the precious treasure hidden in the grass

Looking across the field you would never know of the pre­cious trea­sure hid­den in the grass

If you are pass­ing along the Mombasa Highway past Small World, please stop by to tell the staff and the man­ager that you thank them for let­ting the chee­tah raise her cubs on their prop­erty and for pre­serv­ing the pre­cious chee­tahs of Kenya!