Post subject: Re: Karoo NP to introduce lions to mark 30th anniversary
Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:54 am
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:40 pm
MZNP does at this moment have a stable cheetah population and we would not like to tamper with the population and remove animals at this stage to introduce to Karoo NP. The fact of too much inbreeding is always a concern and Karoo NP would firstly like to source cheetah from other populations not linked to the MZNP population. This will make it possible at a later stage to swop animals/individuals between the two Parks to enhance genetic variability.
MZNP did have a rapid growth in the cheetah population but then we moved a large number of cheetah out of the Park to private game reserves in order to bring the population down to a number that would be most suitable for the Park. Therefore it does not have excess cheetah at the moment.
The sourcing of animals from Namibia is not part of our planning. RSA still has sufficient wild cheetah in the North West and Limpopo Provinces. The sourcing of animals from other countries, and with animal health restrictions in place (quarantine periods etc.) between countries, is always a very long process with lots of intergovernmental issues and we would rather go for the option of sourcing cheetah locally. Animals are regularly caught on farms and handed over to the Endangered Wildlife Trust whom in return is looking for homes for the cheetah. It will take a while to source cheetah but I am sure we will find suitable animals to introduce to the Karoo NP.
We will also look at the welfare of the animals first and to transport cheetah from as far as Namibia can put a lot of stress on wild cheetahs. The shorter the transport time the better for the animals.
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