City of Tshwane announces the birth of five cheetah cubs at Rietvlei Nature Reserve.

City of Tshwane announces the birth of five cheetah cubs at Rietvlei Nature Reserve.

City of Tshwane announces the birth of five cheetah cubs at Rietvlei Nature Reserve. —

The cubs, estimated to be about six weeks old, were first spotted by City nature conservation officials during the weekend.

Cheetah mothers are known to keep their cubs well-hidden and only move their den every few days to protect the cubs from harm.

“It is only once the cubs reach around six weeks of age that they start moving around with their mother and eat meat from her kills,” said Tshwane City Mayor Randall Williams.

The cheetah mother, known as Njozi – which means “dreams” in Swahili, is known for her shyness that does not show herself that much.

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“She roams throughout Rietvlei Nature Reserve and is mainly spotted during the early mornings or late afternoons,” explained Williams.

Cheetahs were first introduced to Rietvlei Nature Reserve in 2002 as part of the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Cheetah Metapopulation Project, and Njozi is kept permanently at the reserve for breeding purposes.


In September last year, a new male (Thaba) was released into the reserve to expand the cheetah gene pool.

Rietvlei Nature Reserve is the perfect reserve to form part of the programme as there is no direct competition from other large predators, which often results in a high adult and cub mortality rate.

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Until such time that the cubs reach full maturity and fend for themselves, there will be much pressure on Njozi to take care of their needs.

To this end, the City calls on visitors to Rietvlei Nature Reserve to respect her space while she roams and hunts for food.

When the cheetah mother is spotted, visitors are requested to do the following:

• Approach the site with caution and slow down

• Stay at least 20 to 30 metres away from Njozi and her cubs

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• Switch off the car engine, remain silent and limit the noise from your vehicle

• Do not leave the vehicle under any circumstances, nor hang out of the windows and break the vehicle’s silhouette

• Do not attempt to stay in the reserve after gate closing times

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