Close this search box.

Get Our Updates!

The Wildcat Sanctuary Welcomes Rare Cheetahs


April 26, 2021

The Wildcat Sanctuary Welcomes Rare Cheetahs

Elderly Brothers are the Only Cheetahs Known to Reside in Minnesota


SANDSTONE, Minnesota – The Wildcat Sanctuary is pleased to announce it is now the permanent retirement home for two 11-year-old male cheetahs named Lavani and Kitu. The senior cheetah brothers were retired from an AZA-accredited zoo in California and needed a permanent retirement home. The Wildcat Sanctuary immediately offered to take in the big cats and provide transportation for the 4000-mile round trip. They have just arrived at The Wildcat Sanctuary and are settling in to their new home.

While at the zoo, the cheetahs were part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP), an international program which ensures the survival of certain species which are threatened or endangered in the wild. Cheetahs are very rare big cats, with less than 7,500 remaining in the wild in Africa. They are the fastest land animal in the world.

“We welcome these senior cheetahs and know they will thrive at our sanctuary because we specialize in individualized geriatric care for big cats through our Comfort Care Program,” explained Tammy Thies, Founder and Executive Director of The Wildcat Sanctuary. “Our temperature-controlled indoor areas, free-roaming habitats and onsite veterinary care will provide these bonded brothers with the off-exhibit retirement they deserve.

“And since individualized care is at the forefront of everything we do, we will also be adding more covered and heated outdoor areas so these brothers will be comfortable year-round.”

The Wildcat Sanctuary is a non-profit rescue organization, relying entirely on donations for their 100 + exotic cats. Through April, the sanctuary’s MIRACLE MATCH fundraiser is taking place. All donations will be TRIPLE matched dollar for dollar up to $60,000.

The Wildcat Sanctuary (TWS) is the only accredited, non-profit sanctuary in the Midwest.  TWS provides a natural sanctuary to wild cats in need and inspires change to end the captive wildlife crisis.  Combining natural and spacious habitats with a life free of exhibition, TWS allows all residents to live wild at heart. As a true sanctuary, we do not buy, breed, sell or exhibit animals. The Wildcat Sanctuary is accredited by the American Sanctuary Association and the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries.  More information can be found at


Join The Conversation