Damian Vergnaud started the WCCC in 2001 with the purchase of 7 semi wild cheetahs. In 2008, he saved Velvet, Shady and Joti. They came to him when they were 1 month old. He found them in a bathroom in a so called breeding facility.  The were abandoned cubs, but he made it his mission to rescue and rehabilitate them and other cheetahs from similar situations. He works with a dedicated team of cheetah handlers at the centre based at Inverdoorn Game Reserve in the Western Cape.

Sharing their passion for cheetahs and conservation, the team works together to raise awareness about the big cat’s plight, while also committing their time to the breeding and rehabilitation of these species.

Capecheetah also offers personal encounters with tame cheetahs on the reserve. These are led by the handlers who share the cheetahs’ stories with the guests, as well as educating them about cheetahs,  the threats that they are facing and what we can do to save them.

Every day the cheetahs are exercised by means of daily cheetah runs, which form part of the handlers responsibilities as well as tracking the released cheetahs in the main reserve and making sure all the cubs stay healthy and strong.

The handlers are assisted by a team of volunteers, who come from far and wide to learn about cheetahs and aid in their conservation. Helping with cheetah runs and interactions, the volunteers contribution also forms an important part of the work at the Centre.

The Cape Town office is also an integral part of Capecheetah. Here, the team organise interactions with guests and handle the marketing and social strategies, increasing awareness for the cheetah’s plight across all platforms.

By working together at Capecheetah, as well as with guests and the public, we can hope to save the cheetah, one run at a time.



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The WCCC Team

Damien Vergnaud


Damian Vergnaud is the founder of Capecheetah and the owner of Inverdoorn Game Reserve in the Western Cape.

Leah Brousse

WCCC Manager

Leah Brousse is the main cheetah handler take on at out the Western Cape Cheetah Conservation.

Martial Viot

Online Marketing Manager

Martial Viot heading up the marketing for Western Capecheetah Conservation at the Cape Town office.

John Mcllvaine

Cheetah Handler

John Mc llvaine is cheetah handler at Western Cape Cheetah Conservation.

Lauren Leonard

Marketing co-ordinator

Working alongside Martial, they head up the marketing and communication for CapeCheetah. Their main goal is to raise awareness and spread a positive message about the plight of the cheetah.

Elise bouyer

French marketing assistant

She assists Martial Viot with all marketing related duties. She is a creative assistant who also does all content writing and content management in French.


Various positions

The handlers are assisted by a team of volunteers, who come from far and wide to learn about cheetahs and aid in their conservation.


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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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