Athi-Kapiti Mom and Cubs
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.
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.
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!