Conservation and Wildlife

Tragedy as antelope kills first captive-born re-wilded cheetah

A cheetah who was hand-reared b Carrie Johnson’s wildlife charity has tragically died after it was pierced in the heart by the horn of an antelope during a hunt in South Africa.

According to Mail Online, Saba, four, was raised by Damian Aspinall, who runs the Aspinall Foundation, and became the first captive-born cheetah to ever be successfully re-wilded from Europe, along with his brother Nairo.

He was flown to a private game nature reserve near Cape Town in South Africa in February last year and the pair had been thriving in their new surroundings while fending for themselves.

However, tragedy struck at the summit of the 20,000-acre area’s second highest peak and it is thought Saba caught his prey on the mountain before suffering a stab wound to the chest while on top of the animal.

Boris Johnson’s wife Carrie, a former Conservative Party comms chief, began working for the Aspinall Foundation, run by Tory donor Damian Aspinall, in January.

The cheetah was previously pictured with the Mr. Johnson’s arm around him when the pair met in 2019, before he became Prime Minister.

According to Damian’s wife Victoria, who works as the head of communications alongside Mrs Johnson, Saba ‘made quite an impression’.

At the time of the meeting, she said: ‘Damian and I invited Boris to sit in Saba’s indoor quarters with us and introduce himself.

‘Boris nervously joked, “It’s like meeting someone with strong but undeclared views on Brexit. I’m not sure whether he’s going to give me a slobbery kiss or take my head off!” In the end, Saba just nibbled Boris’s woolly hat.’




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