The Global Humane Conservation Fund of Africa Announces Successful Rewilding Initiative and Cheetah Cub Rescue

NELSON MANDELA BAY, SOUTH AFRICA (May 8, 2024) — The Global Humane Conservation Fund of Africa (GH-CFA), an initiative under Global Humane, announced the successful rewilding of a cheetah named Nkanyiso and a rescue of her four cubs.

Nkanyiso arrived at the Nyosi Wildlife Reserve and was introduced into a rewilding enclosure on April 19, 2023. She was four years old when she arrived as part of the Cheetah Metapopulation Initiative to rewild genetically important species. The rewilding campaign was a collaboration between Nyosi Wildlife Reserve, The Metapopulation Initiative, WeWild Africa, and the Global Humane Conservation Fund of Africa.

All cheetah subspecies are listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, except the Northwest African and Asiatic cheetah which are critically endangered.

“Rewilding efforts help protect critical species from the sixth mass extinction,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, CEO of American Humane. “We are immensely proud to have helped Nkanyiso and her four cubs through this initiative.”

Following two months of preparations to ensure she was ready to move from a lifetime of captivity to the wild, Nkanyiso was released from her enclosure as a wild cheetah on Nyosi Wildlife Reserve. Within three months, she became self-sufficient.

Nearly a year after her arrival, on April 1, 2024, Nkanyiso was found by a reserve guide with a serious leg injury. Due to her previous relationships with people, she knew to seek out the vehicle for help. The team secured a portable X-ray machine, and upon her examination, realized that she was lactating and has given birth to a litter of cubs somewhere on the reserve.

The X-rays confirmed that her front right leg was broken; therefore, releasing her to find the cubs would be extremely risky. The team instead deployed two of Nyosi’s guides, Braden and Jack, to attempt to find the cubs on the 2,500-hectare (6,200-acre) reserve.

Despite the slim odds, the Nyosi guides found four cubs and spent two hours working to safely catch them in the rough thicket of the Eastern Cape. The team managed to rescue all four cubs and take them back to their mother in the enclosure.

A few days later, Nkanyiso received surgery at a local veterinary clinic where she was given a metal plate to heal her broken leg, and she is now able to walk on it again.

“This amazing story of not only saving Nkanyiso, the mother with a broken leg of four Cheetah cubs and secondly her cubs who were without their mother because of the injury, is a conservation story that should be shared internationally,” said Adrian Gardiner, Director and Shareholder of Nyosi Wildlife Reserve. “Her successful operation and being back with her cubs is heartwarming.”

Nkanyiso’s cubs will remain in the enclosure with her while the team continues to look after the welfare of all five cheetahs, with the hopes of rewilding them all when the time is right.

Photos and video of Nkanyiso, her cubs and the rescue are available here.



About the Global Humane Conservation Fund of Africa:

The Global Humane Conservation Fund of Africa (GH-CFA), an initiative under Global Humane, is deeply committed to the preservation and protection of Africa’s wildlife and wilderness areas. As the international brand of American Humane, the oldest national animal welfare organization in the United States, Global Humane’s mission resonates with a legacy of nearly 150 years of pioneering efforts. Based in South Africa, GH-CFA focuses on conserving, rewilding, and safeguarding Africa’s diverse ecosystems and wildlife. Through our strategic initiatives – Space for Species, Wildlife & Biodiversity, and Conservation for Communities – we strive to create safe habitats, enhance genetic diversity, and promote the interconnectedness of all species. For more information, please visit, follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram and subscribe to our channel on YouTube for the latest breaking news and features about the animals with whom we share our Earth.


About Nyosi Wildlife Reserve:

A first-of-its-kind, peri-urban game reserve nestled between two cities, where wildlife roams freely as humans and nature reunite to rewild the landscape. Nyosi Wildlife Reserve is deeply committed to conservation and community, focusing on preserving its diverse biomes and wildlife through sustainable practices and rewilding initiatives. Equally, the reserve is dedicated to empowering the local community through employment, support of local businesses, and educational outreach, fostering a culture of inclusivity, respect, and growth. Website:


About WeWild Africa:

WeWild Africa was founded in 2019 by veteran conservation experts with 100+ years collective experience in wildlife conservation in Africa. We have worked in some of the most challenging places and situations in the world, with a never-give-up mindset. Through partnerships with key stakeholders and committed organizations and reserves, WeWild Africa is able to make decisions quickly and provide seemingly impossible solutions. Since 2019 the organization has directly impacted over 900 animals through rescue or rewilding. Website:


About The Metapopulation Initiative:

In the last century, wild cheetahs have undergone a drastic reduction in global geographic range and population size. Complementary to state-owned protected areas, many private land conservation areas have been set aside in Southern Africa to conserve biodiversity. Barriers (fences) protect cheetahs and other wild animals from the increasing threats of humanity and agriculture but restrict wildlife movement. By coordinating translocations between participating reserves, The Metapopulation Initiative helps private and state wildlife custodians manage inbreeding, overpopulation, and local extinction on their lands while identifying new areas of suitable cheetah habitat for reintroduction. Metapopulation management of cheetahs has enabled the reestablishment of a viable population comprising several interconnected subpopulations. Since 2011, the metapopulation has expanded from 217 wild cheetahs on 41 South African reserves to >537 on 75 reserves distributed across South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, and India. Website:


About Global Humane:

Global Humane is the international brand of American Humane, which is the United States’ first national humane organization and the world’s largest certifier of animal welfare, helping to verify the humane treatment of more than one billion animals across the globe each year. Founded in 1877, American Humane has been First to Serve™ the cause of animals and for 145 years has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in the humane movement. For more information or to support our lifesaving work, please visit, follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram and subscribe to our channel on YouTube for the latest breaking news and features about the animals with whom we share our Earth.