Get ready to spot a new big cat prowling the Monarto Safari Park plains!
The park is thrilled to welcome male Cheetah, Dakari (pronounced duh-kar-ee), to the wild family, making his big debut on International Cheetah Day today.
Arriving from the Wild Cat Conservation Centre in NSW, Senior Keeper of Carnivores Rachel Hemming said Dakari is settling in well to his new home.
“Dakari has been spending some time getting to know our male Cheetah Absame behind the scenes.
“We introduced Dakari and Absame gradually to form a new coalition. We’re really happy to see they’ve bonded well and are displaying positive social behaviour by grooming each other and playing together.”
The two male Cheetah are similar in age, with Dakari born in September 2022 and Absame (pronounced Ab-sah-mee) born in February 2022.
“Dakari is taking everything in his stride and taking Absame’s lead, it’s nice to see the duo enjoying each other’s company.”
Now out and about in the public habitat, the community can come along and meet the spot-tacular male.
“We’re sure he’ll be quick to win over the hearts of the public, just as he has done with the keeping team,” she said.
The team hope to see Dakari play an important role as a breeding male at the park, especially as his dad and uncle originated from a sanctuary in Africa. Sadly Cheetah are the most endangered big cat in Africa, with an estimated 6,600 Cheetah remaining in the wild.
These big cats have been impacted by habitat loss human-wildlife conflict and the illegal wildlife trade.
This makes the regional breeding program all the more important, of which Zoos SA is proud to play a major role in. Monarto Safari Park has bred over 40 Cheetah and in 2023 celebrated the birth of seven cubs.
“Cheetah can be very tricky to breed so it’s a special time to have two litters of cubs at the park.”
Zoos SA’s work in Cheetah conservation extends beyond the gates of the park by supporting the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), who do amazing work on the ground to ensure the survival of the species the wild.
This International Cheetah Day there are many ways you can support these spotty big cats. By taking part in our Cheetah Experience, adopting a Cheetah at the park or enjoying a glass of Kimbolton Wines’ ‘Cheetah Wine’, you can help Zoos SA continue our conservation work to save the species for future generations.