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Meet the Cheetahs: At the Breeding Facility

WRITTEN BY // Annami Grabe CATEGORIES // Meet the Cheetahs

Meet the Cheetahs: At the Breeding Facility

Currently we have five cheetahs in the breeding facility. There are nine closed-off areas in which the cheetahs are rotated. If and when a female goes into heat she will be moved in with a male and all fingers are crossed for successful mating. This area will not be their home forever; these cheetahs will also have the opportunity to be released. No cheetah will be kept in the breeding facility permanently.


Approaching Nushka, either with food or not, you will hear her purring. She is a bundle of love, but when it comes to the boys (referring to the male cats) you see a whole other side of her. She does not back down for anyone who does not put up a fight for her. Nushka and Banzi were hand-raised by the Cape Cheetah team. We hope that one day Nushka’s maternal and reproduction instincts will be greater than her pride in fighting off the boys, and that she will bring a healthy litter of cubs into the world.


To describe Lotta in one word: mystery. During my time here I could not yet figure her out, but one thing is certain, she is a very intriguing cat. During feeding time Lotta is always last to receive food, not on purpose, but because she plays hide and seek for 10 minutes before she reveals herself to you, just as you get into the car to drive away. Running up to the fence you immediately find yourself lost in her beautiful eyes. She comes across as very insecure, constantly trying to defend herself by hissing at you, standing on the other side of the fence with her food. Lotta has not given up her wildness and is thus our wildest cat in the breeding facility. She is also not used to human contact and therefore comes across as fierce. Once we all turn our backs on Lotta, she eats her food, but does not let her guard down for a single second. With love and patience, Lotta will one day realise that we mean her no harm.


Banzi is Nushka’s brother and was also hand-raised at Inverdoorn. He was born with a genetic defect which caused his legs to grow outwards. We had two options, either to put him down or take a chance and pay for a very expensive and risky operation. We went with the second option. Today, thanks to Banzi’s second chance in life, he is a healthy big cat with no signs of any genetic defect. I think all the female cheetahs will agree with me, when they see this stud walking towards them. Hopefully, one day, there will be a litter of Banzi babies in the facility.

The Boys

Joti – The Other Stud

You can’t miss this sexy male when you walk into the breeding facility. Given his rough start in life, he turned out to be a very gorgeous cat. We like to use him for mating with the females. Joti has the habit of harassing his stepbrother, Shady when it comes to food. It is a constant race between the two when eating. Joti tries to finish first so that he can get some of Shady’s food and poor Shady tries to finish before Joti comes over to steal his meal. Shady, whose coat is of a darker shade, looks like a real bad boy who is up to trouble.

About the author

Annami Grabe

Annami Grabe

Annami Grabe was born in South Africa. She studied conservation ecology and is currently working as a volunteer at the Western Cape Cheetah Conservation.

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Inverdoorn Game Reserve



Tel:  +27 (0)214 344 639
Fax: +27 (0)214 331 157


Meet The Team

  • An American in South Africa

    An American in South Africa

    My name is John McIlvaine and I am from Seattle, Washington, USA. This is my second trip to South Africa to do volunteer cheetah conservation work, but this is my first time at...

  • Meet the Team: Mekka Pietersen

    Meet the Team: Mekka Pietersen

    When you meet Mekka Pietersen, our Assistant Lodge Manager, you will be greeted with the biggest, warmest smile. She was born at Inverdoorn, where her family has lived for three...

  • Meet the Team: Lana Simon

    Meet the Team: Lana Simon

    The staff at Inverdoorn hail from various parts of South Africa, and even other parts of the world. As a result they all have very different and diverse backgrounds, but are connected by...

  • Meeting the Volunteers: Marion Sabatié

    Meeting the Volunteers: Marion Sabatié

    With her boundless energy and a permanent twinkle in her eye, Marion Sabatié reminds me of a mischievous pixie. I was with her when she first arrived at Inverdoorn and her nervous,...

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Inverdoorn Game Reserve


Tel:  +27 (0)214 344 639
Fax: +27 (0)214 331 157


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