Cheetah arrive at Hamilton Zoo

calendar iconPosted 1 April 2021

Hamilton Zoo is excited to announce that the much-anticipated cheetah boys have arrived!

Denzel, Radi, Bomani and Manni transferred on Air Canada from Sydney, Australia. Zoo Director Dr. Baird Fleming said the zoo team are absolutely delighted to welcome the boys.

“We know our visitors have loved being able to see cheetah is the past and there is an absolute air of excitement to have them back”.

The two-year-old boys have come from Taronga Dubbo Western Plains Zoo. Denzel, Radi and Bomani are brothers, while Manni was born one month earlier at Monarto in South Australia before moving to Dubbo. Together the boys have formed a cheetah coalition and get on together extremely well.

Work began on the cheetah enclosure following the reopening of the Zoo at Alert Level 2, in May 2020. Dr Fleming said it had been an eager wait for the team since then.

“Permits and transfers were a lot more complicated to work through with the backdrop of covid creating unique challenges. But to get their transfer across the line and to now have them onsite, happy, healthy and safe - is just fantastic,” said Dr Fleming. 

The upgraded cheetah enclosure includes multiple viewing areas and offers future encounter opportunities with a training wall.

“Cheetah are beautiful cats and very playful by nature,” said Dr Fleming.

“Visitors will have wonderful opportunities to see these magnificent cats up close and with them being in a vulnerable state in the wild, it is our hope that people can connect with these animals this environment and then take what they’ve learnt and do good with it. We can be all be a good example as animal advocates, being kaitiaki to precious animals whether that be here at home, or those in the wild.”

Cheetah were once found throughout Asia and Africa, but today there are fewer than 7,100 African cheetah and less than 50 Asiatic cheetah in Iran. Currently they are listed as ‘Vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List.

As with many species, the problem facing cheetah is complex. The three main issues are human-wildlife conflict, loss of habitat and loss of prey and also poaching and illegal wildlife trafficking with cubs taken for the exotic pet trade.

Built for speed, the cheetah is the world’s fastest land animal reaching speeds greater than 110km/h in just over three seconds. In zoo environments, cheetah can live from 10-12 years.

The four cheetah boys at Hamilton Zoo are now on display.