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Cheetahs changing spots at Hamilton Zoo

Cheetahs changing spots at Hamilton Zoo

It’s been farewells and welcomes at Hamilton Zoo’s cheetah enclosure with two recent departures and arrivals.

Long-time Hamilton Zoo residents and visitor favourites, Temba and Kaitoa, have departed for Orana Park while playful brothers Moyo Matusi and Jambo have travelled across the Tasman to make their new home in Hamilton.

The impetus behind the transfers has been the opportunity for Temba and Kaitoa to contribute more actively to the regional cheetah breeding programme while offering Western Plains Zoo, Australia, more capacity in their cheetah enclosure.

Temba and Kaitoa were originally intended as a breeding pair at Hamilton Zoo however their union has been unsuccessful.

Hamilton Zoo director Stephen Standley says that Temba and Kaitoa have been transferred to Orana Park to maximise their contribution to the regional breeding programme.

“Female cheetah tend to be highly mate selective. Although Temba had a pseudopregnancy (false pregnancy) in January this year, the pair had shown very little sign of working as a breeding pair. Their move to to Orana Park will make a larger pool of potential mates available to both Temba and Kaitoa and it’s hoped that this will enable them to contribute actively to the regional cheetah breeding programme.

“Kaitoa was born at Orana Wildlife Park so the territory may be somewhat familiar to him but it will definitely be new for Temba who was born at Cango Wildlife Ranch, South Africa but has been at Hamilton Zoo for six years. We’ll definitely miss Temba and Kaitoa but are looking forward to working to Moyo Matusi and Jambo, who are stunning animals with playful personalities.”

Moyo Matusi and Jambo were born at Western Plains Zoo and have been part of that zoo’s cheetah colony until their move to Hamilton in August.

Mr Standley says the two cheetah boys are well-settled and ready to welcome visitors.

“Moyo Matusi and Jambo are impressive looking animals and they both have inquisitive and playful personalities. Since arriving at Hamilton Zoo, they’ve spent some time in quarantine but have settled in extremely well and are now out on public display.”


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