In February 2015, CCB was involved in the translocation of two groups of cheetah that had come into conflict with people. Translocating any large predator is difficult in Botswana, as there are few if any remaining areas that are suitable for this. Cheetahs need large areas for hunting, areas with good levels of prey density, low levels of competition from other predators and be away from areas with high human density. Most protected areas already have high numbers of predators and moving new individuals into these areas increases competition for resources and consequently, many translocations are not always successful. In February, it was decided through a collaborative effort by CCB, DWNP, and Beyond and Vetswana to attempt translocating these two groups into an area in the south of the Okavango Delta. Since release, survival of these individuals has been high. The release of a female and her cubs is currently going well, although one cub has been lost, the mother and remaining three cubs have settled into an area and are regularly sighted by guides and tourists. She has been seen to hunt successfully and the cubs are growing up healthy and strong. The release of two brothers in the same area, however, have struggled to find an area to settle down. This pair has roamed over considerable distances, even recently into neighbouring Namibia. Despite being released into a protected area, high competition with lions and spotted hyenas has most likely been the reason for these males to have left the release site. The males have moved in and out of both protected and non-protected land in search of areas of suitable prey and low competition over the last four months. This movement highlights the difficulty of not only finding suitable areas for release, but the difficulty for cheetahs to settle and survive in areas with people. Translocations are not the long-term solution for cheetah survival, but encouraging and developing co-existence solutions with people. However, CCB is pleased to see that in this case, the survival of these cheetahs has so far been successful.
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