National Geographic Society Newsroom

Saving Cheetahs & Leopards in Namibia

Namibia has more cheetahs than any other country in the world, but even here these speedy creatures are in a race for their lives. I visited Naankuse, a wildlife rescue center in Namibia that is trying to save the cheetah and other iconic African animals. Cheetahs who will let you scratch their back, a caracal...


Namibia has more cheetahs than any other country in the world, but even here these speedy creatures are in a race for their lives. I visited Naankuse, a wildlife rescue center in Namibia that is trying to save the cheetah and other iconic African animals. Cheetahs who will let you scratch their back, a caracal cat that can leap 12 feet in the air, and leopards and wild dogs that escaped a death sentence. These are some of the animals Marlice van Vuuren introduces us to at her Naankuse Wildlife Sanctuary in Namibia. The animals here arrived orphaned or injured and Naankuse’s goal is to return as many as possible to the wild. Those that can’t be released are used for educational purposes. This is part of an interview I did with Marlice for National Geographic Weekend

About National Geographic Society

The National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit organization that uses the power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of the world. Since 1888, National Geographic has pushed the boundaries of exploration, investing in bold people and transformative ideas, providing more than 14,000 grants for work across all seven continents, reaching 3 million students each year through education offerings, and engaging audiences around the globe through signature experiences, stories and content. To learn more, visit www.nationalgeographic.org or follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Meet the Author

Boyd Matson
Boyd Matson, in his work for National Geographic, has been bitten, scratched, or pooped on, and occasionally kissed by most of the creatures found at your local zoo. What he refers to as his job, others might describe as a career spent attending summer camp for adults. Currently Matson is the host of the weekly radio show, “National Geographic Weekend.” Conducting interviews from the studio and from the field, Matson connects with some of the greatest explorers and adventurers on the planet to transport listeners to the far corners of the world and to the hidden corners of their own backyards. Matson also writes about his experiencs in his monthly column, “Boyd Matson Unbound” for National Geographic Traveler magazine, produces videos for National Geographic.com, and serves as a spokesperson for the National Geographic Society.