Amani the super mum

As we mark the International Cheetah Day, we would like to share the story of one of the most amazing cheetahs in Mara – Amani. Amani, is the swahili name for peace.

The special cheetah named Amani is one of the oldest female cheetahs in the Mara and has done a tremendously good job in raising cheetahs to independence. She has given birth to four different litters.

Her first litter was born in 2012 consisting of three cubs named, Imani, Hodari and another male that went missing. Her second litter was born towards the end of 2013 but only one female, called Karembo, was successfully raised to independence. Her third litter was born in 2016 with both cubs being raised to independence. Her current litter, which is about to disperse, was born in mid 2018 and consists of two females and one male.

Amani’s story is exceptional, not many cheetahs are able to give birth to so many litters leave alone bring them up to independence. While some of the factors affecting survival of cheetahs are natural such as presence of other predators, others are not. Habitat loss caused by human activities and human-wildlife factors are some of the key factors that are threatening the survival of cheetahs in the wild.

Since 2013, our Mara Predator Conservation Programme has been leading science driven research on cheetahs with the aim of ensuring that we contribute meaningfully to the conservation efforts. Part of the research work has involved deploying GPS collars on sub-adult cheetahs so as to gain an insight into their movement and preferences as they start to live on their own. The findings from collars have been published in Broekhuis, F., Madsen, E. K., Keiwua, K. , Macdonald, D. W. (2019). Using GPS collars to investigate the frequency and behavioural outcomes of intraspecific interactions among carnivores: A case study of male cheetahs in the Maasai Mara, Kenya. PLOS ONE.

To ensure that more cheetahs like Amani raise litters to independence, we need to do more. We need to deploy more collars on new sub-adults and also carry out community engagement to reduce cases of human wildlife conflict. All these we cannot do without your help.

Any donation this International Cheetah Day and in this Giving Season will ensure that we continue informing conservation efforts of cheetahs in Mara. Find ways to donate here.