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Big5Drive Keeping cheetahs cool

Updated: Dec 1, 2023

WWA is delighted to fund the purchase of a fridge-freezer to The Cheetah Research Project (CRP) in Namibia, thanks to our Big5Drive sponsors and donors.

The Cheetah Research Project has been radio collaring and collecting biological samples from free-ranging cheetahs on Namibia farmland for over 20 years. One of their scientific interests is exploring an apparent paradox of cheetahs in that they have a low genetic variability but seem rather unaffected by it as they are very healthy in the wild. CRP has studied the immune genes and system of cheetahs and discovered that they compensate for their impaired adaptive immunity, which is a result of the low genetic variability of their immune genes, with a very strong innate immunity. How they do this is a subject of CRP’s ongoing research but it is good news for the health status of free-ranging cheetahs and conservation prospects.

The work of CRP requires careful sample management. Fresh blood samples from darted cheetahs need to be transported from the field to research station laboratories, often across great distances in hot African conditions. Worth Wild Africa was delighted to supply a fridge-freezer for their 4x4 vehicle to ensure sample transport at a constant temperature for reliable lab results and made a well-received contribution to the veterinary equipment used for the immobilization and handling of the cheetah under study.

CRP is led by Dr. Bettina Wachter from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz-IZW) in Berlin, Germany.


Find out more about the Cheetah Research Project research, including a sustainable mitigation solution to address farmer-cheetah conflicts can be found on their website:

Latest research papers published:

The Leibniz-IZW conducts evolutionary wildlife research for conservation in order to work towards the vision of understanding and improving the adaptability of wildlife in the context of global change. Find out more here:

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