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.
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.
One of the Hornbills had to be taken into care shortly after the mother Hornbill broke out of her nest. Hornbills nesting nature is rather curious. The male and female work as a team to partially close up the entrance of the nest with a mixture of mud, droppings, and food items such as fruit pulp until the female can barely fit through to enter the nest. The male continues to seal her in, and she also assists from the inside using food and feces until only a narrow opening remains. The male is then completely responsible for feeding his mate and the upcoming chicks for the next 2 months. Once the Ranch’s female had broken out, which is a natural part of the process, staff noticed that one chick was substantially smaller than the other. Presumably, one chick was enjoying the ‘lions share’ of the food. Staff immediately moved the younger chick to the hospital and started its incubation and rehab.
From one winged creature to another, Cango also has a young Flying Fox pup in their care. Curators closely monitored the mom and pup for a few days. Mommy bat was exhibiting strange behavior, and the young pup seemed to have contracted an infection in its toes. It appeared that the mom was going to reject the baby, and when she did, one of the Ranch curators was standing ready for the catch. The young bat was taken to hospital and received treatment, but upon trying to return her to mum, mum refused.
The Flying Fox is currently receiving full-time love and care. He gets wrapped up like a baby burrito and his little toes are on the fast-track to recovery. This little guy has the face of a tiny pup with big curious eyes and an impressive wing-span that vastly out-measures his little body. He is too precious and all who meet him quickly lose all the stereotypical fears attached to bats.
Last but not least, Cango took delivery of four young Spotted Eagle Owlets. Three of the owlets were brought in after being taken away from tourists in the Gamkaskloof, while the fourth was found on the shooting range of the Oudtshoorn Army base. The four chicks are in the animal hospital under-going a re-wilding process and are due for release soon!
The ranch is abuzz with purrs, squeaks and chirrups… and we wouldn’t want it any other way. Little peacock chicks are running around, close on mums tail feathers, as are the adventurous Egyptian Geese ducklings. The ranch is filled with new life, glistening with the full kiss of summer, making the atmosphere even more special than it usually is!
Cango Wildlife Ranch eagerly encourages visitors, as they are open every single day of the year!