De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Centre
De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Centre is situated nearby Hartbeespoort Dam at the base of the Magaliesberg of North West Province South Africa. This amazing Centre has become renowned for its efforts in breeding and researching endangered species, particularly their accomplishments in preventing the extinction of cheetahs. De Wildt provides visitors with an unique experience allowing tourists and travelers to get up close to cheetah, wild dog, antelope, brown hyena, vultures and owls. This is an educational adventure you do not want to miss.
Established in 1971 on a 65 hectare farm by conservationist Ann van Dyk, De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Centre has met with many successes and a few disappointments. Back when the Centre was founded the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) population in southern Africa was estimated at around 700. At this time there had been no achievements in captive breeding of cheetahs. In operation for more than 20 years, De Wildt has been at the forefront of captive breeding of these amazing creatures, pulling them back from the edge of extinction. During this time about 600 cheetah cubs have been born at this facility.
Whilst the Centre was established as a haven of cheetah conservation and breeding, De Wildt has broadened its scope to a number of other projects involving endangered and rare species. Amongst these are wild dogs, riverine rabbits, brown hyenas, suni antelope, blue duikers, servals, bontebok and vultures. Successful captive breeding has meant that several members of these species have been reintroduced into their natural habitat. This has lead to the repopulation of wild localities where species numbers are reduced.
De Wildt has had a number of important achievements. One such is that the Centre was the first to breed the king cheetah. This accomplishment also proved that the king cheetah is genetically a true cheetah, just with a different coat pattern. African wild dog packs have been bred here and then released into the wild, playing a major role in the preservation of these highly endangered animals.
Still owned by Ann van Dyk and run with a staff of 24 eager individuals and the assistance of zoologists, De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Centre is set to continue creating wildlife conservation success stories. As a privately owned NGO, De Wildt relies on funds from entrance fees and sponsorship. So why not show your support by visiting the Centre and making a donation.
De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Centre provides all with the opportunity to get to know all these fascinating species, to learn about their struggle for survival and to contribute to their future existence.