Cheetah For Ever
The Maasai Mara national reserve in Kenya is home to an abundant and diverse wildlife including birds, thousands of herbivores and their predators. Among them the cheetah (Acinony jubatus), a big cat with remarkable physical skills (this is the fastest land mammal) but highly vulnerable to habitat loss and food competition with other less specialized large carnivores such as lions, hyenas and leopards who often steal its hard-earned kills.
Young cheetahs (raised only by their mother) also often fall prey to lions, hyenas, jackals or even baboons. In addition, there is a high degree of human disturbance in the reserve: the Maasai sheperds’ herds of cattle are increasingly encroaching the cheetahs’ territory.
Cheetah for Ever, founded by Tony Crocetta, a professional wildlife photographer specialized in African wildlife, is dedicated to the protection of the female cheetahs who are raising cubs by providing surveillance 24 hours a day 7 days a week until the cubs are able to escape more easily from predators. Surveillance crews patrol on all-terrain vehicles inside the reserve, preventing lions and hyenas from chasing cheetah cubs. By doing so, they improve the survival rate of the cubs.
Cheetah for Ever also supports the education of the Maasai young children: construction of a library, organization of educational outings in the reserve, broadcasting of wildlife documentaries and educational films…
Photo credit: @T. Crocetta/Cheetah for Ever.