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FOUR PAWS gives three-legged cheetah a new home in LIONSROCK


The youngest new arrival at the FOUR PAWS big cat sanctuary LIONSROCK is three legged cheetah Sasha. The young cheetah was so badly injured by a wildebeest that an his back leg had to be amputated. A life in the wilderness was no longer possible for Sasha. Therefore, he was transferred to LIONSROCK, where he can now live in a very natural environment, but still be protected and monitored by humans.

At the first glance, Sasha is looking like some normal cheetah.
© FOUR PAWS| Monika Girardi

Sasha was hand reared

At the young age of six months, Sasha lost his mother and was found by a farmer. He took the cheetah to a vet, who looked after him and brought him up. Eventually the Endagered Wildlife Trust (EWT) – which is running a project in South Africa to release cheetahs into the wild – took Sasha on an successfully reintroduced him to the wild. Unfortunately, Sasha could not enjoy his freedom long-term: He happened to be a cheetah with a handicap due to the heavy attack by a wildebeest. EWT asked us if we could take him into care. In LIONSROCK he can now live in a very natural environment, but still be protected an monitored by humans.

Three-legged cheetah Sasha is obviously enjoying his new life in LIONSROCK.

Cheetah Sasha will have his very own enclosure

Sasha loves sitting on the roof of his hut to enjoy a great view around.
© FOUR PAWS | Monika Girardi

Although the cheetah previously lived in the wild, he already feels at home in his familiarisation enclosure. As for his amputation, he hardly lets it impair him at all. Sasha showed that he comes to terms very well with his disabilities by jumping pretty effortlessly up onto the roof of his hut to have a good look around. As soon as his familiarisation phase is over, the cheetah will be able to move into his very own one-hectare enclosures. This is some distance away from the lion’s enclosures, as otherwise he would suffer a great deal of stress.

About FOUR PAWS big cat sanctuary LIONSROCK

Big Cat Sanctuary LIONSROCK, a project by FOUR PAWS, provides an appropriate, lifelong home for big cats that were kept in inadequate conditions in zoos, circuses or private captivity. The habitat, constructed for the big cats in 2007 in South Africa (Free State province, 18 km from the town of Bethlehem), offers highest standards including large areas for family groups, facilitation of natural behaviour through enrichment and highest standards of medical care as well as highest security standards of enclosures. In LIONSROCK hunting, trading or breeding of wild animals is strictly prohibited. The park encompasses a total area of 1,250 hectares. The enclosures for the big cats (112 animals in total; mostly lions, but also tigers, leopards, cheetahs, caracals, wild dogs, hyenas and servals) take an area of 56 hectares. In the rest of the park, other typical South African species live freely (e.g. zebras, wildebeests and other antelopes etc.).