The two cheetahs, Pema and Jampa, have safely arrived at Panthera Africa and make a wonderful addition to the current pride of lions, tigers, leopards, caracals and jackals.
Jampa has very bad arthritis and had an external injury on his shoulder. The wound became infected and started to poison the rest of his system. Panthera Africa Rescue Team, Lizaene Cornwall and Stig Snoen, had to rush Jampa to the specialist veterinarian in Pretoria leaving on Christmas Day. The trip took 17 hours and was made by night to avoid high temperatures.
Once Jampa arrived at Dr Peter Caldwell’s clinic he spent two days in an observation pen. On 28 December Dr Caldwell and his team operated on Jampa for 2.5 hours and cleaned the wound, cleared all soft tissue and bone defected areas and removed all fragments. Dr Caldwell sent the samples away for testing and on 4 January Jampa was cleared thanks to the surgery being a huge success.
The vet recommended that Jampa be castrated, which was done on 5 January as this is most beneficial for his health and also to insure no breeding takes place. DNA samples were taken and send to National Zoological Gardens of South Africa where they have a captive cheetah database.
While Jampa was recovering at the vet in Pretoria, Pema was transported to Panthera Africa on 5 January and was released in the temporary enclosure. “She walked out of her crate very calmly and confidently, and then explored her new surroundings and settled down to rest. She eagerly ate her first special supplements to boost her condition and she finished her first meal with ease,” said Cornwall.
Jampa was given the all clear and transported to Panthera Africa by the Panthera Africa Rescue Team, Cornwall and Snoen. He arrived on 9 January where he was reunited with Pema. Cornwall said, “He calmly and quickly exited his crate and went and sat by the fence where his sister was. Soon afterwards greetings and kisses started.”
The two cheetahs are brother and sister and 13 years old. “We have named them Jampa which means Loving Kindness and Pema which means lotus,” said Cornwall.
The pair were orphaned at an early age and after a period of hand-rearing, were surrendered to a rescue centre. The centre’s hope of reintroducing them back into the wild was not succesful as they had been habituated to humans and they remained in captivity. The centre decided it was in the cheetahs best interest to move to Panthera Africa where they would be able to build an enclosure according to their needs and give them the special care they require, especially being older cats.
The cheetahs need daily care and supplementing which Panthera Africa can provide. “It is critical for big cats in captivity to get supplements. Pema was a little thin and her immune system was down and Jampa has arthritis. The supplements they both receive helps to improve their overall condition and Jampa also received arthritis medicine,” said Cornwall. “In the best interest of the cheetahs they came to us so they can be constantly monitored and given everything they need to prosper for the rest of their lives.”