Cheetahs born at Kent wildlife park hunt for the first time in Africa

The cheetahs have been translocated to their new home in Africa Credit: The Aspinall Foundation

Two cheetahs born at a Kent wildlife park have hunted for the first time at their new home in South Africa.

Brothers Saba and Nairo were born in captivity at Howletts Wild Animal Park near Canterbury. They were relocated to the 300 hectare reserve in South Africa February to start their re-wilding journey.

The milestone has been described as "phenomenal" by the foundation - for the pair who were in captivity just five months ago.

After spending five months at Ashia Cheetah Conservation just outside Cape Town to acclimatise, the boys undertook a 660 km trip to their new forever home, Mount Camdeboo Private Game Reserve located in the Great Karoo.

Saba and Nairo were born in captivity at Howletts Animal Park Credit: Aspinall Foundation

The two brothers were initially housed in a holding boma for further acclimatisation before being released into a purpose built 300 hectare/741 acre hunting area which was designed to teach them how to hunt local prey species consisting mainly of blesbok, springbok and warthog.

Within a mere 24 hours of their release into the hunting area, the brothers split up to explore their new environment and Saba managed to kill a blesbok, whereas Nairo managed to successfully kill a springbok.

Saba and Nairo in their new home Credit: Aspinall Foundation

We need to keep in mind that this is a ground-breaking process as it is the first-time that zoo animals from the United Kingdom have returned to their native homeland to be rewilded. The boys are therefore being monitored carefully to ensure success.

Damian Aspinall, Chair of the Aspinall Foundation