Wellington Scoop

Cheetah dies after arriving at Wellington Zoo


Press Release – Wellington Zoo
Wellington Zoo is saddened to report that last night shortly after arriving at his new home at Wellington Zoo, Shomari, one of two cheetahs coming to the Zoo from Orana Wildlife Park, died unexpectedly.

“Shomari was unconscious on arrival, and Wellington Zoo vets worked tirelessly to save him. We are all deeply saddened by his tragic passing,” said Megan Sellars, Marketing and Communications Manager.

His brother Cango (photo above) is doing well.

Wellington Zoo is now working with Orana Wildlife Park, and an investigation is underway to establish what happened.

News from Wellington Zoo – May 21
Two male Cheetahs from Orana Wildlife Park are heading north next week to their new home at Wellington Zoo. Five-year-old brothers Cango and Shomari will arrive at Wellington Airport next Wednesday.

“We’re really excited to welcome the two boys to Wellington Zoo and have them as part of our Cheetah Ambassador programme,” said Amanda Tiffin, Wellington Zoo Life Science Manager.

“Visitors will have a chance to get hands-on with them in a Close Encounter, of which a portion of the profits supports the Anatolian Guard Dog project at Cheetah Outreach – a conservation project in South Africa that helps to protect wild Cheetahs. Wellington Zoo already supports the care of one dog in this programme, his name is Wellington.”

Charlie, Wellington Zoo’s resident Cheetah, was hand-raised at Cheetah Outreach and came to Wellington with his brother Delta in 2005.

Wellington Zoo is offering a rare opportunity for a lucky Trade Me bidder to be the first to see these beautiful and charismatic cats – including being there with Zoo staff when they arrive at Wellington airport, a behind-the-scenes experience as they are introduced to their new home at the Zoo, and a Close Encounter with Cango, Shomari and their keepers.

“Female Cheetahs are fairly solitary animals, while males are more social, spending time in sibling groups like Cango and Shomari are. These two brothers will move into Charlie’s current exhibit, and Charlie will be able to enjoy his own space at the top of the Zoo in the Africa precinct,” explained Amanda.

Visitors will be able to see Cango and Shomari in their new home from Thursday 29 May, and can schedule a Cheetah Close Encounter with them from Saturday 21 June.

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