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FOUNDER
Founder

Annie Beckhelling

Founder

Annie Beckhelling

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. Educational efforts began with two cheetahs: Shadow, a one-year-old male, capable of traveling to community events, and Inca, a six-year-old male, whose role was to greet Spier visitors. In the first year alone, Cheetah Outreach and Shadow, visited more than 50,000 people by traveling to educational facilities, community clubs, hotels, malls, and various public events. At Spier, with an average annual visitor ship of 350,000 people, Inca was able to greet more than 10 percent of the guests touring the lovely estate. Since our successful beginning, Cheetah Outreach quickly expanded with the arrival of three cubs in September 1997. Nyana-Spier, Charlie-Girl and Moya enjoyed the public attention. Moya was donated to the Angel Trust Fund (Cincinnati, Ohio) to assist them with their efforts of raising awareness for the plight of the cheetah. Our facility is continually evolving and growing and we are taking on more challenges than ever before. We are actively involved in cub rearing and in the Anatolian Shepherd Guarding Dog program in South Africa

STAFF
Manager

Dawn Glover

Assistant Curator

Harry Hinds

Handler / Safety Officer

Savannah Abbey

Handler

Michelle Marneweck

Volunteer Coordinator

Asma ‘Wolfie’ Mahomed

Bookings Admin

Adrienne Alldermann

Kitchen Manager

Terrance Gadzayi

Maintenance

Bonga Matina

Manager

Dawn Glover

Dawn, a zoologist and an environmentalist educator, is overall manager of Cheetah Outreach. Dawn started volunteering at Cheetah Outreach in October 1997 and joined as full-time staff in January 1999, heading the education program and ensuring that awareness of the plight of the cheetah was spread through the community through school visits, teacher workshops, incorporating conservation into school curriculums and other activities. She attained her Masters in Environmental Education in 2006. In 2016 Dawn took over running Cheetah Outreach with responsibility for all aspects of the organization.

Assistant Curator

Harry Hinds

Harry first volunteered at Cheetah Outreach from 2015 to 2017 before joining the staff in November 2018 as Assistant Curator. He brings with him a wealth of veterinary experience having worked for over a decade as a Veterinary Assistant in New Zealand, both with domestic and exotic companion animals. He received a BA in Applied Science in Animal Management and Welfare in 2015, became a Certified Natural Zoological Scientist in 2017 and an Animal Technician in 2018. He has also published research in the New Zealand Veterinary Journal. We are very lucky to have someone with Harry’s experience help us look after our animals.

Handler / Safety Officer

Savannah Abbey

Savannah started volunteering at Cheetah Outreach in 2015, working 5 days a week at our facility. Because of her dedication and commitment to cheetah conservation, hard work, and rapport with both people and animals at Cheetah Outreach, she was hired as full-time staff at the end of 2016 and is a full-time cheetah handler. Recently she became our Safety Officer.  Savannah, well-liked by everyone, continues to have a positive impact on the Cheetah Outreach team.

Handler

Michelle Marneweck

Michelle started volunteering at Cheetah Outreach in February 2017, sometimes working 5 days a week. Due to her hard work, commitment and confidence around the animals, she was chosen to help with hand-raising new cubs and was hired as full-time staff in November that year, focusing on handling and husbandry duties. Her love for the animals and her willingness to do whatever is asked of her makes her an invaluable member of the team.

Volunteer Coordinator

Asma ‘Wolfie’ Mahomed

Wolfie started volunteering at Cheetah Outreach on 15 June, 2022 and committed to working 5 days a week.  At the beginning of 2023 she joined the staff as volunteer coordinator, in charge of volunteer orientation, training and supervision.  Besides working closely with the volunteers, she is particularly fond of working with the Anatolians and our caracal Grace.  She is a welcome addition to the team and will bring much-needed focus to the very important volunteer program

Bookings Admin

Adrienne Alldermann

Adrienne started helping her friend Annie Beckhelling when she first started Cheetah Outreach in 1997. She has continued to assist with different tasks over the years and in 2015, took over facilitating the education program and helping Mary set up school visits and develop different education activities. She has now also taken on the administration of the volunteer program and bookings.

Kitchen Manager

Terrance Gadzayi

Terrance was hired in January 2018 to help with maintenance. Since then he has become indispensable in keeping the facility in good condition and also became the kitchen manager. Terrance is an extremely hard worker and takes great pride in his work, always doing a good job whether it be mowing grass in an enclosure or repairing huts and other structures.  He also prepares all the meals for the animals with great care. 

Maintenance

Bonga Matina

Bonga started working at Cheetah Outreach in January 2008.  Being a jack-of-all-trades he helps out with maintenance and in the kitchen. He left Cheetah Outreach at the end f 2012 but continued to come in on Sundays and volunteer, helping out with cheetah encounters.   He came back full-time to Cheetah Outreach in May 2015 and we are very happy to have Bonga back on the team again. 

VOLUNTEERS
Volunteer - Curator

Liesl Smith

Volunteer - Handler

Doreen Browne

Volunteer - Handler

Patrick Browne

Volunteer - Handler

Lesta Rothero

Volunteer - Handler

Jacqui Friedling

Volunteer - Handler

Mandi Wyngaard

Volunteer - Handler

Tammy Richmond

Volunteer - Handler

Frances Mitchell

Volunteer - Handler

Tony Fitzpatrick

Volunteer - Handler

Lynn Fitzpatrick

Volunteer - Handler

Melanie Stevenson

Volunteer - Handler

Tyle Swart

Volunteer

Juan Du Plessis

Volunteer - Handler

Owen Swart

Volunteer - Handler

Nia Burg

Volunteer

Kerry O’Mahoney

Volunteer

Beancia Hittler

Volunteer - Curator

Liesl Smith

Liesl started at Cheetah Outreach in 2000 as curator. She has always put animal well-being ahead of everything else and also helped start our enrichment program. After 23 years at Cheetah Outreach, Liesl left to spend more time with her family and pursue other interests but she still comes to visit us every week and spend time with the animals.

 

Volunteer - Handler

Doreen Browne

Doreen started volunteering at Cheetah Outreach when the program began in 1997 and over the years has given her Saturday to work at the facility.  Since retirement, Doreen also works every Thursday.  Doreen became a Cheetah Handler in 2001 and is also a small animal Handler.  She used to help out with onsite functions as well as at fund-raising events.  She is very involved in animal enrichment and spends time walking our caracal Grace.  Thank you for all the time and support you have given the program from the beginning.

Volunteer - Handler

Patrick Browne

Patrick started volunteering at Cheetah Outreach when the program began in 1997 and over the years has given his Saturday to work at the facility despite a very busy career.  Patrick is a small animal Handler and has a very close relationship with our meerkat.  He is very involved in animal enrichment and spends time walking Scoop.  He used to be very involved in fund-raising events.  Thank you for all the time and support you have given the program from the beginning.

Volunteer - Handler

Lesta Rothero

Lesta started volunteering in 2001 and quickly became an essential part of the team, always ready to step in and help at short notice. She used to work at the facility, overseeing the care of all our dogs, making sure they are walked on a regular basis, and helped with the birth and care of all the puppies born to our breeding females before they moved to Limpopo. She was also one of our main small animal handlers, doing encounters that have become very popular with the public. She has retired but still continues to come once or twice a week to walk the dogs.

Volunteer - Handler

Jacqui Friedling

Jacqui started volunteering at Cheetah Outreach in 2010 and since then has become a regular.  Despite a busy and demanding career as a doctor, Jacqui still finds time to help us out almost every Sunday as well as during the holidays, days that other volunteers are often not available.  Through her work, she has also provided us with lots of enrichment items for our small carnivores. She is both a cheetah and small animal Handler. She has adopted our servals Baggins and Legacy.  Many thanks to Jacqui for her continuing support.

Volunteer - Handler

Mandi Wyngaard

Mandi started volunteering at Cheetah Outreach in 2009 and works around her busy schedule as a fitness instructor in order to help out whenever she can. She became a cheetah handler in 2011 but her passion is working with the cubs at our facility. She has become very involved in the cub-rearing program and has been over-seeing it since 2014. We thank Mandi for giving up her free time to volunteer at Cheetah Outreach and for all her help with the cub program.

Volunteer - Handler

Tammy Richmond

Tammy started volunteering at Cheetah Outreach in March 2013, giving up one of her days-off from her regular job every week to work on Saturdays.  She became a cheetah handler in 2015 and also does bat-eared fox and caracal encounters as well as cub and dog walks and enrichment with our small carnivores and cheetahs.  Her commitment and enthusiasm have made her an important part of the Saturday team, and we thank her for her dedication and hard work.

Volunteer - Handler

Frances Mitchell

Frances started volunteering at Cheetah Outreach in 2013 helping with tours, in the shop, feeding and spending time with the Anatolians, and helping out with cheetah encounters. She is also a bat-eared fox handler. Her dedication and enthusiasm make Frances part of the spirit of Cheetah Outreach team.

Volunteer - Handler

Tony Fitzpatrick

Tony started volunteering at Cheetah Outreach in October 2017, giving up one of his days off to come in on the weekend to help out at the facility.  Besides being a cheetah back-handler, he helps with feeding our small predators, walking and training dogs, and doing enrichment with the animals.  He is also a caracal handler.  We appreciate all the time and effort he gives to Cheetah Outreach.

Volunteer - Handler

Lynn Fitzpatrick

Lynn started volunteering at Cheetah Outreach in October 2017, giving up one of her days off to come in on the weekend to help out at the facility.  She has always wanted to work with wildlife, and loves spending time with and getting to know the cheetahs and small animals. She also enjoys talking to guests, sharing knowledge and explaining the role of Cheetah Outreach in wildlife conservation. Besides being a cheetah back-handler, Lynn helps with feeding our small predators and doing enrichment with the animals.  She is also a caracal handler. We are lucky to have such a dedicated volunteer.

Volunteer - Handler

Melanie Stevenson

Melanie started volunteering at Cheetah Outreach in April 2018, quickly becoming a regular volunteer that we could depend on.  She has a great love for animals and having studied for a degree in Applied Biology and Biochemistry, is thrilled to be working in the conservation field.  She loves working hands on with the animals but also helping to make a difference for these predators in the wild.  Besides being a cheetah handler, Melanie helps with feeding our small predators, walking dogs and doing enrichment with the animals. We are grateful to have such a dedicated volunteer on our team.

Volunteer - Handler

Tyle Swart

Tyle started volunteering at Cheetah Outreach in September 2018. She has always been fascinated by wildlife, and is thrilled to be able to work closely with the animals at CO. She has since become a cheetah and small-predator handler and really enjoys building relationships with each animal. Tyle also works as a veterinary assistant and is always keen to be involved behind the scenes. We are lucky to have such a committed volunteer who loves being with the animals.

Volunteer

Juan Du Plessis

Juan been volunteering at Cheetah Outreach for 6 years now. When Juan started at CO, he was really introvert and feeling anxious around people, but when he started to work around animals, being the thing he loves the most, really helped him to open up to the world around him. He feels like he is part of a family with us, giving him a sense of personal reward. Thank you Juan for your commitment to all of us.

Volunteer - Handler

Owen Swart

Owen started volunteering at Cheetah Outreach in June 2019 becoming in 2023 a cheetah handler.  Despite his busy and unpredictable filming schedule, he tries to put in 2 days a week to stay connected with animals and colleagues at CO.  What he enjoys most at CO is spending time with the Ambassadors, especially the cheetahs, fielding challenging questions from guests, and helping to train new up-and-coming volunteers.  We are very lucky to have such a dedicated volunteer who is willing to give up his limited free time to help raise awareness about the plight of the cheetah.

Volunteer - Handler

Nia Burg

Nia started volunteering at Cheetah Outreach in September 2021 and has been coming in 5 days a week ever since then. She started working with the meerkats in April 2022 and soon became their primary care-giver, devoting much time to their care and enrichment. She has since become a cheetah and small animal handler. Nia has wanted to work with wild animals all her life so this is a dream come true for her. She is also responsible for the management of Facebook and the new website. Cheetah Outreach is very happy to be part of that dream as she has become an invaluable member of the team. 

Volunteer

Kerry O’Mahoney

Kerry started volunteering at Cheetah Outreach in April 2022. She always had a passion for working with animals, especially wildlife. She enjoys being able to work along side multiple animals and learning their different characteristics, as well as being part of a conservation effect to protect the wild population of these species. She also loves meeting people from all over the world and learning their views and being able to educate them further on these beautiful animals we have. Thank you for your commitment to Cheetah Outreach.

Volunteer

Beancia Hittler

Beancia started volunteering at Cheetah Outreach in January 2022. She loves to work, care and connect with animals and shares the passion by educating guest on our conservation efforts. She enjoys volunteering at CO with such amazing animals and team who aim for the same mission; teaching you new things, laugh with you and share the same interest and commitment when working alongside these animals every day.