Velvet was rescued by Cape Cheetah. As she cannot be released into the wild, she has become an ambassador for Cape Cheetah, and guests at Inverdoorn Game Reserve can meet her during interactions.

Name: Velvet

Sex: Female

Age: Five

Birthday: 20th of October

Category: .


About Velvet

Velvet was one month old when the Capecheetah team found her in a so called breeding facility. In the beginning a breeding facility always sounds great because you think that they are trying to increase the number and to save the species. Unfortunately not all the places are like that. A lot of places are in for the money and they will tell you that they had 90 cubs while 80 are stolen. They go to Namibia to steal the cubs from their mother, in order to sell them after. In one of those places Velvet has been found.

The Capecheetah team went there initially to buy full grown cheetahs for their breeding program. They thought it was a good breeding facility until one of their staff members walked into the bathroom and saw 3 cubs and another in the toilet. They were in horrible conditions and where full of ticks and flees, had viral diseases and worms. The Capecheetah team wanted to buy them but the man was planning on making an awful lot of money by selling them in the middle East, which wanted them for his personal entertainment. Unfortunately it is very fashionable to own “exotic pets”. Most animals do not survive transportation. The team stayed at the breeding facility to convince the man that it was the best if he would sell them the cubs. Unfortunately, during the first night, the smallest brother of Velvet died.

The next day the Capecheetah team was furious and really started to put up a big fight with the man. At the end he realized that they were right and that all the cubs were going to die thus he would not make any money. Luckily that is how Velvet, her brother Shady and her stepbrother Joti arrived at Capecheetah. The first 5 months were really difficult for the team, since the cubs came in such horrible conditions, but they all survived. Unfortunately, Velvet will never be able to be released because at the end of her tail is broken. They do not know the real reason, but they assume that it was slammed in a door in the first breeding facility. It is very sad because the tail is very important for a cheetah to run and  to hunt. Cheetahs hold balance with it, turn to the sights and hit the breaks.

Once or twice a day the Capecheetah team takes her out. The team brings Velvet and her friend Iziba to the dam, which is an enclosed area apart from the reserve where the cheetahs can run around of the leash and even hunt. Velvet never gets anything but it is still fun for her.
It is now possible to meet her during a cheetah interaction. She loves humans and if she has a good feeling with people, they can touch her easily, and she will like it.


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The Western Cape Cheetah Conservation is a renowned rescue and rehabilitation centre for cheetahs in the Western Cape. In the year 2008, the founder of Capecheetah, Damien Vergnaud saved Velvet, Shady and Joti, when they were only 1 month when these cheetah cubs were abandoned in a bathroom. Today, each cheetah has his own heroic, but sometimes heartbreaking, story. The aim of the centre is to rescue more cheetahs from similar situations with the goal of rehabilitating them and releasing them into the wild. The Western Cape Cheetah Conservation then expanded and implemented a breeding programme which is aimed at countering the decline within the African cheetah population as well as increasing the genetic diversity within this species. Today Inverdoorn and Cape Cheetah can boast about the success of releasing two cheetahs back into the wild and then seeing numerous cheetah cubs being born on the reserve. Come and witness the fastest land animal reach his ultimate speed and get to know more about the cheetahs and why these runs are important to the well-being of these cheetahs.

Contact Us

112 Loop street,
8001, Cape Town
South Africa.

phone:+27 21 422 00 13
fax: +27 (0)214 22 41 81

About WCCC

Capecheetah is a rescue and rehabilitation centre for cheetahs based at Inverdoorn Game Reserve in the Western Cape. It was found by reserve owner Damian Vergnaud to fight the species extinction.


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