Cango Wildlife Ranch conservation and breeding programs:
For over 28 years our organisation has worked tirelessly for the conservation of cheetah and other endangered species – we are one of the 5 biggest cheetah centres in the world and have for many years had the highest survival rate of cubs produced globally. In our 28 years of breeding endangered animals, Cango Wildlife Ranch has produced more cheetah cubs than that of the entire United States and we have therefore had a dramatic and vital impact on assisting the conservation gene pool of this species.
Cheetah, as a species, are very specialised hunters who need flat grasslands/savannah’s in order to hunt and survive, most of which have been converted into farming areas. We simply cannot release cheetahs into the wild, as there is nowhere safe to release them. People are intruding on their land faster than introductions can take place. However we as a facility focus on breeding to increase the in-situ populace. The purpose for this is important, and is something that the public (in general) are not aware of/don’t understand. Should something happen to a particular species in the wild, captive facilities will be able to supply genetically diverse species to rectify and assist the collapsed genetic pool. Just recently this has been done for the Radiated Tortoise species. In other words this species would be extinct if captive facilities had not bred this specific tortoise. This is vital in ensuring an international genetically diverse populace. In the future when release is possible, measures will be taken in order to have animals raised in a wilder state in order to start off the process of re-wilding animals once again.
As none of our cats are intended for release into the wild, the majority are hand-raised by our care givers for a multitude of reasons, and sometimes circumstantial. It can happen that first time mothers (especially in cheetah) neglect the cubs. Additionally, cheetahs in general, are especially vulnerable as babies. We monitor them very closely and if we notice a serious drop in weight, or pick up on any unusual symptoms/general illness then we pull the cubs immediately to encourage survival rates.
Furthermore, by hand-rearing cubs, they grow to be very calm and relaxed animals which helps for medical or husbandry management and additionally encourages a strong relationship between animals and curators which ensures a stress-free animal/environment. These animals generally form part of our Ambassadorial program. Ambassador animals play a major role in assisting to educate the public and highlight the plight of its species by going to schools and other public events alongside our controlled encounter programs. (It is important to note that not all the cubs born at the Cango Wildlife Ranch are hand reared.)
As far as our breeding programs are concerned the health of our animals is our greatest priority and as a result our females are usually only bred every 2nd or 3rd year in order for them to fully regain their strength and ensure quality of life.
Many of our Cheetahs reside on our premises for life; either at the Cango Wildlife Ranch or at our Jill Bryden-Fayers Reserve and a number are moved to alternate facilities if there is a need for them (see below). It is important to note that we only breed with select species where we can increase and contribute positively to the genetic pool of the genus.
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