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Video shows Howletts cheetahs Saba and Nairo released in South Africa by The Aspinall Foundation

This is the moment two Kent-born cheetahs took their first steps onto African soil and towards being released into the wild.

Damien and Victoria Aspinall released hand-raised Saba and Nairo into their holding enclosure, where they are already feeling at home.


Saba and Nairo are released into the wild Video: The Aspinall Foundation

The pair are staying at Ashia’s Cheetah Center in South Africa’s Western Cape, where they are expected to be kept for a month or two while they settle in to their new habitat.

Seeming relaxed and calm, the cheetahs are exploring their new surroundings and eating well.

The cats will eventually be moved into Mount Camdeboo Private Game Reserve where they will learn to hunt.

Mr Aspinall believes they will pick up the skills very quickly. Once they do Saba and Nairo will be released out onto the reserve.

Mr Aspinall said: "I feel very proud, I was a little nervous, but I'm glad they're here now."

World first as cheetah brothers are relocated from UK to South Africa Video: The Aspinall Foundation

This is all part of The Aspinall Foundation’s Back To The Wild programme, where animals raised in their parks will be introduced to the wild where possible.

The foundation is KentOnline's charity of the year and is seeking to raise £100,000 to support the move and continued monitoring of the two cheetahs. Cat lovers can adopt the pair or donate to the cause on their website.

Escaped animals, unusual finds and news from the RSPCA can all be found here.

To read more about Saba and Nairo's jounrney, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Canterbury


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