Since 2001 Inverdoorn Game Reserve and the Western Cape Cheetah Conservation (WCCC) have been rescuing and rehabilitating cheetahs at a special facility at Inverdoorn in the Karoo.
The WCCC is at the forefront of cheetah conservation in South Africa and is a globally recognised initiative. Through dedication, passion and the expertise of leading specialists in veterinary science, conservation dynamics and predator behaviour studies, the WCCC currently have fourteen cheetahs in their care. Today the WCCC is a sanctuary for cheetahs as well as a centre for knowledge and research in cheetah conservation worldwide and aims to educate the public and promote awareness of cheetah conservation.
Cheetah conservation is a highly specialised area of conservation since the cheetahs present peculiar challenges. While human action and loss of habitat is still the number one cause of the decline in wild free-ranging cheetah populations throughout Africa, the genetic defects the species are prone to are an added concern. Generations of inbreeding has weakened the species leaving them susceptible to genetic diseases often related to the skin and bones.
As a result, trained and knowledgeable caregivers ensure that the cheetahs receive the best care possible. The cheetahs benefit from a unique wildlife management programme that ensures they receive adequate amounts of physical training and psychological stimulation every day by means of nursing, feeding, long walks, running exercises and interaction with visitors.
As part of our ongoing commitment to raising awareness we invite those with some experience in animal handling or caregiving or those with, or completing, undergraduate studies in wildlife conservation to apply for the volunteer program with the WCCC.
Should you wish to enter into the WCCC's volunteer program, you will need to be available for a period ranging from three to six months. As there are a limited number of places available, preference will be given to volunteers between the ages of 20 and 30 who speak fluent English and possess some experience in animal care.
Should you be accepted into the program, there will be a two-week probationary period, upon your arrival, after which you will undergo an evaluation by management. During this time you will be immersed in building a relationship with a predator in order to gain its trust. You are carefully monitored throughout to ensure your safety and that of the animal. You will be placed with an experienced handler who will offer guidance as you accompany the cheetahs on their daily feeds, walks, exercise routines and guest interactions.