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Spot you later – Orana cats become capital cheetah

Spot you later – Orana cats become capital cheetah


Next Wednesday (28 May) Orana Wildlife Park farewells Cango and Shomari, two hand-raised cheetah. The five-year-old boys will be transferred to Wellington Zoo to join the Cheetah Ambassador Programme.

Head Keeper of Exotic Mammals, Rob Clifford, says: “Cango and Shomari, along with their brother and sister, were hand-raised by staff from day one. Their inexperienced mother left them so our dedicated team worked tirelessly to ensure their survival.

The cats have been very popular during their time at Orana. For a number of years, visitors had the opportunity to enter the cheetah habitat for a personal encounter with the curious cats. Visitors delighted at patting a purring cheetah and the boys especially enjoyed the experience!

Our team will miss Cango and Shomari but their brother and sister will remain here and contribute to our breeding programme.”

Wellington Zoo’s Life Science Manager, Amanda Tiffin, adds: "we're really excited to be welcoming the two boys to Wellington Zoo and having them as part of our Ambassador programme. Visitors will have a chance to get hands on with them during a Close Encounter, of which a portion of the profits will support Cheetah Outreach’s conservation programme that helps to protect wild cheetah."

Orana is the only New Zealand zoo breeding these quick cats as part of the zoo-based breeding programme. To date, eighteen cats have been raised to adulthood at Orana, a noteworthy achievement as cheetah are notoriously difficult to breed in captivity. Only a small number of zoos worldwide have experienced repeated breeding success with the species.

“We are hopeful of producing more cheetah cubs later this year. Meantime, our staff are enjoying working with our six month old ratbag youngsters, Boo and Lion, who were originally set for transfer to Wellington Zoo. Now, they will remain at Orana and visitors can enjoy seeing them grow” concludes Rob.

- ENDS -

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