Known in the past as the De Wildt Cheetah Centre the name has recently been changed to the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre as a tribute to the woman who has devoted her life to the survival of the cheetahs as well as other rare and endangered species.
The Cheetah Centre in South Africa was established in 1971, initially as a cheetah breeding project and the Centre has during the past 40 years bred over 800 cheetah cubs. Various conservation projects have been initiated since its inception which also includes a successful African wild dog breeding programme
• To breed rare and endangered species (which includes the cheetah and African wild dog).
• To support scientific investigations into all aspects of these species.
• To promote public awareness – particularly amongst the younger generation – of the pressing need for wildlife preservation: to afford visitors to the Centre of the opportunity of viewing endangered species such as the cheetah and African wild dog, in natural surroundings and at close quarters.
• To continue to play a role in conservation biology by helping to maintain adequate gene pools of rare and endangered species.
• To generate income to support existing and future breeding projects at the Centre.
• Where feasible, to re-establish endangered wildlife species into areas where they once occurred naturally.
Today the Centre can look back with satisfaction on a job well done in ensuring the survival of Acinonyx jubatus – the cheetah, successfully breeding the king cheetah in captivity for the first time in the world. While the cheetah breeding project was the base from which Ann launched her conservation ethic, it soon widened to include other endangered animal species, such as the African wild dog, brown hyaena, servals, suni antelope, and riverine rabbits. Many of these projects such as the suni antelope and riverine rabbits once successfully running have been handed over to other institutions to continue with.
The Centre does not receive any government funding and income generated from tours and the adoption programme is used to subsidize our conservation projects.
Learn more about the breeding project and the conservation projects at the Centre – order a copy of the book ‘Cheetahs of De Wildt’ written by Founder and Director Ann van Dyk.