Trio of cheetah brothers settle into their new home at Longleat Safari Park

Themba, Ajani and Lunis settle into their new habitat ahead of the mating season.

A trio of male cheetahs are settling into their new home at Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire.

The three young males Themba, Ajani and Lunis have arrived ahead of mating season and keepers are hoping there will be romance in the air this spring.

They have travelled from Stuttgart in Germany and have now arrived at the extensive grounds of the Wiltshire Safari Park.

Cheetahs are carnivores and the fastest land mammal on earth, reaching speeds of over 100km per hour.

The trio arrived at Longleat after resident cheetahs Mo and Bolt moved to the Big Cat Sanctuary in Kent as part of the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme.

They were born at Longleat in August 2019 but, as they are related to Xena, one of the park’s two female cheetahs, they couldn’t breed and didn’t show any interest in the other feline, Rachel.

According to conservation partner TUSK, there are estimated to be less than 7,100 adult cheetah left in the wild and the species is almost extinct in Asia.

Their keeper Kayleigh Smith said: “They are wonderful. We are really happy to have them and really hoping for more cheetah cubs which is so important for the breeding programme.

“When they arrived, they came straight out and were climbing, playing, grooming and running; they can run from zero to 70 if they really want to in this great open space that they have at Longleat.”

Longleat now has five cheetahs – the new boys – Themba, Ajani and Lunis – who are joining females Xena and Rachel.