sponsored by Naples Daily News
He was born in an endangered species breeding center in South Africa - she in a center in the Netherlands. These world travelers later met in the United States. Now like so many, they’ve come to Naples to enjoy a tropical retirement.
For the first time in nearly four decades, cheetahs have returned to Naples Zoo. With a limited number of cheetahs in the nation, there were many choices for where these two could live.
Southwest Florida can be proud the Species Survival Plan® selected our nationally accredited facility for their care. Long known for our husbandry expertise with felids, our staff looks forward to welcoming these elegant cats.
Their new home is in the northern gardens in an existing habitat that will be modified. The cheetah will sit atop small hills like ones seen on the African veldt. This repurposing of space allows for an expansive exhibit among the existing trees in a cost efficient manner.
To help cheetahs in the wild, the Naples Zoo Conservation Fund supports the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia.
Speed at a Cost
Cheetahs are also fast eaters. And they need to be. Their lithe build is no match for scavenging lions, leopards, and hyenas. Besides stealing a meal, these predators will kill adult cheetahs and their cubs.
In some areas nearly three-quarters of cubs die in the first 8 weeks of life - before they even leave the den. On average in East Africa, a mother is able to rear less than 2 cubs to independence in her entire lifetime.
In the Serengeti, male cheetahs live an average of just over 5 years of age. Outside the wild, cheetah infant mortality is negligible and lifespans double or triple their counterparts in the wild. Our two new are 12 and 13 years old already!
On behalf of all who will enjoy seeing the cheetahs, many thanks must go to our donors and to exhibit sponsor Naples Daily News.