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.
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.
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’ 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!
Her four offspring play an enormous role as future ambassadors. Two of the cubs, Peyton and Pippa will be staying at Cango Wildlife Ranch and its Reserve and will be a great asset to the Cheetah Preservation Foundation in future years as they bear invaluable genes that are poorly represented within the in–house population. The remaining two cubs will be relocating to a like-minded education organization where they too will form part of their reputable awareness programs.
The breeding programs of endangered species, by experienced, reputable and accredited preservation organizations, are vital to sustaining genetically diverse in-situ populations. Five Cheetah sub-species exist and are listed under the IUCN Redlist ranging from vulnerable to critically endangered.
Cango's conservation branch, The Cheetah Preservation Foundation, specializes in initiatives that promote education of endangered species and the preservation of said species.