31. New Cheetah Enclosures

Our cheetahs have new spacious enclosures established for prospective breeding.

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After a construction period of eight months, three additional spacious enclosures for the six cheetahs currently kept at AWWP have been finally completed. These three enclosures have doubled the number of enclosures to six. A total area of 7000 m² is now available for the felids.

To meet the animals’ demands, AWWP furnished the enclosures with natural vegetation, hills, shelters, rocks and tree trunks. “Cat- bungees” – where the cats have literally to work for their food – stimulates their senses and improves their general body condition. These enrichment tools will soon complete the furnishing. Separation areas allow locking up the cats in order to perform individual feeding and to avoid dangerous situations while cleaning. Â

It is a well-known fact that cheetahs in general are very challenging in view of breeding. With the additional space, AWWP hopes to have established the basis for prospective breeding. AWWP keeps the North-East African cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus soemmerringi), a smaller subspecies of cheetah. This subspecies is under much greater threat in the wild than their southern counter-parts. A program created in 2007 by the endangered species program (EEP), was set up to manage the captive population. AWWP takes part in this program where the main aim is to maintain as much of genetic diversity within the captive population as possible, in order to ensure the future survival of the subspecies.

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