It is with a broken heart that we have to let you all know that our beloved cheetah Martin passed away peacefully on February 17th.

Martin had not been feeling great in the past few days. He is old, around 20 years old, so we were monitoring very closely any sign of potential sickness. On Feb 17th, as there were still no improvement, we started to be very worried and decided to call the vet. He darted Martin and quickly found a mass in his abdomen. We then transferred Martin to the clinic for x-rays and blood tests. The results quickly showed that age had caught up with him and he was around 5 years older than previously thought. He had multiple tumours and extensive kidney and liver damage. Unfortunately, there was nothing that even our wonderful vet could have done to save him. Although we know that there was nothing else we could do, it was still heartbreaking to let him go.

Not much is known about Martin’s early life, but he was confiscated by the SPCA due to the terrible conditions he was being kept in. He found a safe home at HESC in 2007, where he was part of their internationally renowned breeding program. In 2015, it was time for Martin to retire and he came to DAKTARI to live a happy peaceful life whilst inspiring the local children.

After a bad start in life, Martin made such a huge impact on conservation and environmental education. Martin quickly became the favourite animal of many children who were amazed to see such a beautiful animal so close. He was an incredible ambassador for his species and all of us at DAKTARI are honoured to have had 4 wonderful years with him.

A huge thank you to Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre for trusting us with Martin’s care in his later years, and always providing support. To the loving team at Provet Wildlife Services , you made a horrible situation much easier to bear, and for that we will forever be grateful.

Thank you to all of you who have supported Martin’s ongoing care. We will proceed to the renovation of his enclosure, so that in time, we are able to offer another forever home to an animal in need.

RIP Sir Martin.