Meet Mo and Bolt, the Cheetahs! - The Big Cat Sanctuary

Meet Mo and Bolt, the Cheetahs!

New Additions Arrive at The Big Cat Sanctuary on World Cheetah Day: Meet Mo and Bolt!

On International Cheetah Day, 4th December 2023, The Big Cat Sanctuary welcomed two magnificent cheetahs, Mo and Bolt. The brothers were born at Longleat Zoo on 1st August 2018 and are now embarking on a new chapter in their lives.

Mo and Bolt are joining the Sanctuary as part of the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme. Both cats have a recommendation to breed with Willow, our 6-year-old female cheetah. Over time, Willow will have more interactions with Mo and Bolt, and will build up a stronger relationship with her new neighbours to determine a suitable match for breeding.

Mo and Bolt’s journey was seamless, and after a 4-hour journey, they arrived at the Sanctuary. Both cheetahs appeared to be very relaxed in their dens and were seen by the keeping team grooming each other. After a short while they were let outside to explore their new surroundings. Willow was in the opposite enclosure and had a watchful eye on her two new neighbours.

She seemed curious yet cautious, not quite sure what to make of the two brothers. However, the bond and relationship between Mo, Bolt, and Willow will undoubtedly grow as the weeks pass.

Briony Smith, the Curator at The Big Cat Sanctuary says “We are so excited to welcome Mo and Bolt to the BCS family. They both seem to be taking the move in their stride and although their neighbour Willow wasn’t sure what to make of them at first, we hope they will all begin to bond quickly. This is an exciting move as part of the European breeding programme, and we hope we may be able to welcome cheetah cubs for the first time in the future.”

International Cheetah Day is dedicated to raising awareness of the cheetah species worldwide. As part of the global effort to conserve cheetah populations, The Big Cat Sanctuary plays a crucial role by providing a safe and enriching environment for these cats as well as contributing to conservation initiatives in Africa. We are proud to be conservation partners with CCF (Cheetah Conservation Fund), working hand in hand to protect and preserve these beautiful cats for generations to come.

It is estimated that there are less than 8,000 cheetahs in the wild and they are listed as ‘vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List. The main threats to cheetahs are habitat loss, poaching, conflict with humans and a high susceptibility to diseases. The Big Cat Sanctuary is proud to be part of the breeding programme for cheetahs to help safeguard the species from extinction.

You can have the chance to meet Mo and Bolt on your next visit to the Sanctuary. Please join us in giving Mo and Bolt a warm welcome to The Big Cat Sanctuary.