African Parks (AP), a private sector firm managing some of Malawi’s wildlife reserves under a public-private partnership concession, has started releasing the four cheetahs that were translocated to Malawi last month to the wider park in Liwonde National Park.
Initially, the four cheetahs, two male and two female, were being kept in specially-built bomas for closer supervision as they adapted to the new environment.
According to Liwonde National Park manager Craig Reid, a male cheetah was released to the wider park Monday last week and it is doing well.
He said two other cheetahs (a male and a female) are scheduled for release before the end of this week. The two cheetahs were expected to be released today morning but the exercise failed to bear fruits. The fourth cheetah is yet to adapt and will be released later.
During a visit to Liwonde National Park to witness the exercise – which was being conducted by using an impala as bait – the cheetahs kept on returning into the boma after several promising attempts.
Reid said there was need to give the cheetahs time saying “wild animals are unpredictable”. He however said they will be released into the wider park by Wednesday.
Last month, AP reintroduced Cheetahs in the country two decades after their extinction. AP country director Patricio Ndadzela said the reintroduction provides an opportunity for the country to ensure a long-time protection for the animals as well as other added socio-economic benefits to people in the country.