Latest Cheetah Cubs born at Samara Game Reserve
Cheetah Cub Samara Sibella the wild miracle cheetah, was rescued by Samara in 2003 when she had been ripped to pieces by dogs and left in a cage by farmers in South Africa. She spent five hours on an operating table, where, much to everyone’s surprise, she survived. She was lovingly cared for whilst she recovered from her wounds and she was then flown by the Bateleurs down to Samara – the first cheetah back in the area in 125 years.
Sibella, Sultaness of Samara, has reigned supreme for 9 years and has contributed 2% to the wild cheetah population, by giving birth to 18 cubs on the property. The latest birth of 2 cubs is a miracle as we thought she was no longer capable of giving birth. She has surprised us all – again!
Hayley, who runs Samara’s Volunteer Programme, and Test, Head Ranger at Samara explain their delight at finding her yesterday:
“We cannot begin to describe the surprise, excitement, pride, privilege we felt at Samara today. It was truly the kind of experience that one never expects, and never forgets.
It had been 5 days since we last found Sibella, Samara’s famous cheetah. We knew she had moved up into the mountains from the signal on our telemetry, and when she still hadn’t come down today we thought we would investigate. It was a LONG hike up – we kept thinking she was over the next rise, just the next rise, just one more! By the time we’d walked an hour and were half way up the mountain, we knew we couldn’t give up until we found her!
Thinking the reason she’d been up here a couple of days was because she had killed a particularly scrumptious kudu, we couldn’t have been more wrong. We hiked all the way to the top and were completely exhausted. And then ranger Test spotted her. But wait, she’s looking extra furry today. Not just extra fur, that’s extra spots… very small spots… very small cheetahs!!!
When Test said, “she’s got cubs!” I absolutely did not believe him. Sibella is 10 this year. She’s already sired 3 litters, 18 cubs in total, a miracle by cheetah standards. And yet here she is, nestled under a slight overhang of rocks, nurturing two of the tiniest fluffiest creatures I’ve ever seen. Less than 5 days old, still with their eyes closed, they snuggled close to their mother. She looked up at us, proudly, accepting our presence at this special time – an incredible testament to this cheetah’s character and trust of humans.
There are less than 1000 cheetah left in South Africa and now, thanks to this inspiring individual, there are 2 more. For Samara, this event is another reminder of what is possible when a vision is brought to life. To restore the Karoo to its former glory.
And overwhelming pride: Sibella the supermom!”