Newborn cheetah cubs belonging to the Chilli, the last daughter of legendary Sibella, were discovered on a mountain slope in Samara Private Game Reserve in the Great Karoo.
Sibella was born a wild cheetah in South Africa’s North West province, but her life nearly ended at the hands of hunters when she was two years old. Attacked by dogs, she was violently beaten and locked in a cage. Fortunately, she was rescued by the De Wildt Cheetah Wildlife Trust. Following a five-hour surgery and dedicated rehabilitation, Sibella was relocated to Samara, become the first wild cheetah back in the Great Karoo in 125 years.
She quickly exceeded all expectations within her new environment, recovering from her injuries and becoming an able hunter.
Sibella successfully reared 19 cubs across four litters during her lifetime. She would give birth on a steep mountain slope to avoid potential predators. She died in 2015, aged 14, leaving behind grown-up cubs that, like Chilli, are now flourishing in the wild. Her genes are present in 15 populations across South Africa.
The Samara team will be keeping a close eye on the new cheetah cubs and will track their progress.