The primary goal of the Cheetah Outreach Trust is the conservation and promotion of the co-existence of the free roaming cheetah in South Africa that live on farmland areas in South Africa. From a global estimated 100,000 cheetahs at the turn of the 20th century the population is currently estimated to be 6674.
Shrinking habitat, dwindling of natural prey, and conflict with human activities are the primary causes of these decreasing numbers. There are estimated to be 1,326 cheetahs in South Africa of which approximately 500 are free roaming cheetah living on farmlands in the northern part of the country. This specific population is the focus of our work. We understand the complexity and issues involving cheetah conservation in these farmland areas due to years of working hand in hand with farming communities. We are proud of our continuing efforts over the past 20 years to protect these cheetah on South African farmlands. The Cheetah Outreach Trust through working with the communities in these areas has developed initiatives that reduce and manage the human-wildlife conflict between farmers and cheetah. In addition, the Cheetah Outreach Trust has a well regarded curriculum-linked educational program for learners operating at the Cheetah Outreach facility in the Cape Town area. The Cheetah Outreach Trust works with academic institutions locally as well as internationally to initiate research projects focused on the conservation of cheetah on farmland areas in South Africa.
Annie Beckhelling: Founder of the Cheetah Outreach Trust and Executive Trustee Cheetah Outreach Trust
In January 1997, founder Annie Beckhelling, launched the project with a hectare of land provided by Spier Wine Estates located in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Cheetah Outreach then set out to introduce cheetah to the South African community though educational programs. Annie soon realized that she needed to expand the work done into the farmland areas where cheetah occur and are under threat. Annie established the Cheetah Outreach Trust in 2005 for this purpose. Annie continues to lead the Cheetah Outreach Trust together with her fellow Trustees
deon Cilliers: Project Manager and Field Officer of the Cheetah Outreach Trust – Eastern Cheetah Range
Deon joined the Cheetah Outreach team in June 2013 as Livestock Guardian Dog Manager, East Territory. Armed with a Btech Degree in Nature Conservation and 30 years of in the field conservation experience, he has vast experience working in wildlife conservation and with farmers on farmland areas. As project manager for the eastern territory of the Livestock Guardian Dog (LGD) Project, he places and monitors Anatolian livestock guardian dogs on livestock and game farms in the Limpopo Province, a natural distribution range for wild cheetah. Deon brings valuable knowledge and experience to the effort to reduce human-predator conflict in South Africa through the Cheetah Outreach Trust and continues his work by expanding the knowledge of cheetahs through camera trapping and collaring projects. Deon also manages the Cheetah Outreach Trust portfolio of research projects and coordinates the Irwin’s Guardian Stud where livestock guardian dog puppies are bred for placement.
Cyril Stannard: Project Manager and Field Officer of the Cheetah Outreach Trust – Western Cheetah Range
Cyril joined the Cheetah Outreach Trust in 2008 as project coordinator of the Livestock Guarding Dog(LGD) project. He work with LGD’s for 10 years before joining the Cheetah Outreach Trust team, giving him valuable insights in working with LGD’s as well as into human wildlife conflict situations. In total he has 22 years of experience in human wildlife conflict and the raising and training of LGDs. At the National Dept of Agriculture he managed a LGD project with roughly 250 placements. Cyril successfully managed the breeding project for Anatolian LGD’s that were situated at the Grootfontein Agricultural College. Since joining the Trust he has helped to expand the LGD project by placing LGD’s in the North West province on the border between South Africa and Botswana. Cyril also placed LGD’s on farms within Botswana. With Cyril’s hands on approach he was of valuable assistance to the North West Department of Nature Conservation in the relocation of trapped Cheetah. Being a fieldworker in the Livestock Guarding Dog(LGD) project for the Cheetah Outreach Trust is Cyril’s passion. He is dedicated to both the LGD’s and the farmers and will go to great lengths to assist in any matter.
Korky levanon: volunteer fundraising
Korky has many years experience in fundraising for NGO’s and joined the Cheetah Outreach Trust as volunteer to make use of her knowledge as fundraiser to raise funds for the work of the Cheetah Outreach Trust.