Our Partners & Collaborators

Mount Camdeboo

Howlett’s Wild Animal Park

The Aspinall Foundation

A Global First: UK-Born Cheetahs Rewilded in South Africa

We have achieved another world-first, by successfully rewilding two captive-born cheetahs, Saba and Nairo, from the UK to South Africa. This historic endeavor marks a significant milestone in cheetah conservation, introducing new genetics to the South African cheetah population and paving the way for future rewilding projects. We hope this will serve as blueprint for other captive facilities to release their wildlife back to the wild, where it belongs.

The Journey of Saba and Nairo

Saba and Nairo, born at Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve, embarked on an extraordinary journey covering 6,000 miles to Ashia Cheetah Sanctuary in South Africa’s Western Cape. This initial phase allowed them to acclimate to the South African environment and prepare for life in the wild. Saba’s story is particularly touching, as he was hand-reared by Damian Aspinall and his wife, Victoria, after being rejected by his mother shortly after birth.

Training for the Wild​

At Mount Camdeboo Private Game Reserve in the Great Karoo, Saba and Nairo underwent a meticulously designed rewilding process. They were introduced to native prey species like springbok and blesbok in a specialized hunting boma. The brothers quickly adapted, mastering the art of hunting, showing that captive-born and even hand-reared carnivores can adapt effectively to life in the wild.

The Future of Saba and Nairo

The brothers’ journey into the wild doesn’t end here. They have been introduced to a rewilded female cheetah named Ava. This union adds further valuable genetics to the wild cheetah population. Read the story of Ava’s record-breaking cubs here.

A Collaborative Effort

This historic project has demonstrated that with a blue-sky mentality, innovation, persistence, and collaboration, conservation goals that seem impossible can be achieved. This initiative is a part of WeWild Africa’s broader commitment to wildlife rescue, rewilding, and habitat restoration.

Curious to see how Saba & Nairo are doing? Check out our June 2021 update. 


How You Can Help

The work carried out by WeWild Africa is only possible with the support of individual donors like yourself. You can join us and help us to rescue wildlife, rewild animals, and restore landscapes. 


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