Cango Wildlife Reserve

Santa Was Good to Cango Wildlife Ranch

1_Cheetah Cubs

The Christmas season is over, but it came early for Cango Wildlife Ranch, in South Africa… bearing the most precious gifts of life! They weren’t just blessed with one or two little bundles of joy; the storks were working overtime as they reached a record high 18 babies for the month of December!

Cango staff are still beaming from ear to ear... just like proud parents. They had an incredible litter of six Cheetah cubs born at the private reserve on November 16. The cubs are strong and healthy, as is mom.

As you can imagine, the only thing cuter than one Cheetah cub is six of them! They currently receive around-the-clock care at the C.A.R.E.S. (Care and Rehab of Endangered Species) facility, and will move to the ranch in early January. The cubs provide valuable new bloodlines, which will form part of Cango’s Cheetah Preservation Program and on-going conservation efforts throughout the next decade.

The season of excitement spread from six Cheetahs to a pair of twins! Picture a Lemur right out of the movie Madagascar---with a gorgeous long black and white striped tail curved overhead, bright orange eyes as wide as the sun and a fluffy grey body. Upon taking a closer look, there are four tiny hands wrapped around her body, closely nestled on her chest are her tiny clones with stringy tails and eyes wide and alert in their big bobble-heads. Too perfect for words! Whilst mom soaks up the morning sun, the babies get a little braver and often attempt to ‘venture’ off into the unknown, but the big adventure is never more than half a meter away and they clumsily hop back to mom. One can watch them for hours until they all curl up in a big ball to take an afternoon nap.

Cango’s next baby was born in their Wallaby Walkabout. Now as cute as all the babies are, staff are confident that the new little Joey is more than likely hogging second place. He finally revealed himself by peeking out of his moms pouch! Talk about luxury living… the little Joey enjoys around-the-clock climate control, all cushioned and snug, full ‘room-service’ for meals with all the safety features of a protective mom all in her pouch! He has since started braving the big world…. He often falls out of mom’s pouch but stays close and attentive at all times. At the sight of an intimidating dove, he hops back to mom and dives headfirst into her pouch, often forgetting that his lanky legs are still sticking out.

2_All cheetah cubs

3_Lemur twins

4_Wallaby baby2Photo Credits: Cango Wildlife Ranch

All the animal mommies are doing a phenomenal job caring for their young ones but credit must be given to Cango Wildlife Ranch’s wonderful team of hand-raisers, as well. They have had their hands full over the past month. At times, it is vital to intervene and care for babies to ensure survival. Each and every life is important to them, and they endeavor to go above and beyond to ensure they provide the utmost care to every single animal at the facility. They often act as mums, when the real moms aren’t able.

Currently, two Swainsons Lorikeet chicks (as well as two eggs being incubated), two gorgeous little Von Der Decken’s Hornbills, one bright-eyed Malayan Flying Fox (bat), and four incredible Spotted Eagle Owls are in the hands-on care of staff at the Ranch.

The Lorikeets often need to be hand-raised, due to the larger males feeding on the eggs. Staff incubates all the eggs in the C.A.R.E.S. Centre and then cares for the hatchlings until they are on solid food and can return to the aviary. This also results in very special bonds formed between the birds and carers.

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The Adventures of Becky and Bandit

Look we are growing up so quick

Meet ‘Becky’ and ‘Bandit’, a pair of Bat-Eared Foxes that are now making their home at Cango Wildlife Ranch, Oudtshoorn, South Africa. 

Brought to us at 2 weeks old (300g each)

6 weeks old

All earsPhoto Credits: Cango Wildlife Ranch

In their first few weeks of life, the brother and sister have lived something straight from a script for a feature film, or one of those lovely children’s books. A local farmer brought the duo to the Ranch after finding them on his farm. The farmer was building a dam on his property. The dam collapsed, and shortly after, the pups were seen floating in a stream of water. The farmer did his best to locate their den and find the mother. When neither could be located, he realized the pups needed more specialized care to ensure their survival.

The pups were brought to the Cango Wildlife Ranch and were estimated to be around two-weeks of age. After a proper clean-up, they were placed into an incubator for warmth. Staff began feeding them every 3 hours and stared round-the-clock care.

Every day, for 4 weeks, the pups travelled to and from work with the Ranch’s Zoological Manager, Narinda Pentz, who cared for them 24-hours a day. Luckily, she had special help in the form of her 8-year old Labrador, ‘Zoey’.  Zoey became a wonderful playmate and guardian, and the fox pups soon took full advantage of her loving, placid nature. Becky was initially quite timid, but has become an outgoing explorer, and her brother, Bandit, can ‘out-dig’ her any day of the week!

The foxes are now at home at the Ranch and both are doing extremely well. They are much loved and adored additions to the Cango Wildlife Ranch family!

More incredible photos, below the fold!

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From Renewed Life to New Life…

Cub with Caregiver

Less than 1 year ago, Venus made headlines as one of few animals in the world to under-go eye surgery. Cango Wildlife Ranch's treasured 6 year old female Cheetah, Venus, experienced a challenging start to life but nothing prepared keepers for this remarkable turn-around.

The Roman Goddess of love, beauty and fertility shares more than just a name with Cango's spotted Goddess. One who is equally as beautiful and awe-inspiring.

Venus was diagnosed with bilateral cataracts. Vets monitored her for many months but her condition continued to deteriorate and gravely affected her quality of life. After months of tests, planning, preparation and much needed fundraising, vets were able to take Venus to the Cape Animal Eye Hospital for surgery.

Venus During Surgery

Doctor Anthony Goodhead (Cape Town) removed the cataracts and large amount of scar tissue from Venus’ corneas. Due to her particular case, it was determined that new lenses would not resolve her condition; however, by removing all the obstructions it would restore her sight. Multiple tests were done on Venus to better understand the cause of her impairment, specifically with regards to diseases commonly found in Cheetahs. Luckily she tested negative for all. According to experts, it is likely that Venus’ condition was as the result of malnutrition as a cub. Venus’ surgery was a massive success. She is now far-sighted but for the first time in over two years… she can see.

Venus Surgery

Cango Wildlife Ranch keepers' experience of Venus’ pre and post-surgery behavior was a privilege in itself. She transformed from a scared, nervous and fairly aggressive animal to a more confident assured cat who rambunctiously explored her surroundings, as if it is the first time, even though it had been her home for years.

Venus Pre-Surgery

Venus’ recovery has gone exceptionally well. She undoubtedly received a renewed gift-of-life… and now it seems she is paying it forward.

Just the other day, Venus gave birth to four healthy cheetah cubs. She surprised keepers with her amazing maternal skills as a first time mom. Both mom and cubs are healthy and happy!

Pippa and Peyton


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South Africa Welcomes Prince Harry, A Brand New Pygmy Hippo


In the early hours of last Thursday morning, The Cango Wildlife Ranch in South Africa welcomed a new little fresh-faced baby. Hilda and Herbert, the Pygmy Hippopotamus pair had successfully mated and gifted the ranch with a beautiful 5.1kg healthy baby boy named Harry.

Hilda's water broke last Wednesday afternoon, creating much excitement and anticipation on the ranch. Immediately Hilda and Herbert were separated, making it easier for staff to observe Hilda. The Hippo pond was drained as well to eliminate the risk of her giving birth in the water. Ranch Director, Rob Hall, and Reptile Curator, Neal Martin monitored Hilda throughout Wednesday night...quietly watching her from a safe distance. After a long and uncomfortable night Rob and Neal dozed off just after 5h30 and awoke just less than an hour later, only to discover that Hilda had just given birth! They quietly observed the mother and baby for some time. Hilda was clearly exhausted!








Photo credits: Cango Wildlife Reserve

The Pygmy Hippopotamus' wild population is classified as critically endangered. There are fewer than 3000 left in the wild. They hail from West Africa, mainly confined to Liberia, with small numbers in the neighboring countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea and the Ivory Coast. So for Cango Wildlife Ranch, from Oudtshoorn South Africa, to successfully breed another endangered species is a very proud moment for all involved.


Read more beneath the fold.

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