Yoda is a retired breeder who needed a forever home to live out of the rest of her life in comfort and luxury. We were asked to take them by the cheetah SSP (Species Survival Plan) organization, and we were so pleased to be able to offer her a loving retirement home where they received the best possible medical care and all the love in the world. All the cheetahs we have rescued/adopted have arrived to us through the SSP organization when the cheetah is ready to retire from the program. Retirement from the program usually indicates either genetic health issues or infertility deficits.


Like most relocated cheetahs, Yoda was extremely nervous and prickly when she arrived. She spent most of the first few days attempting to figure out her new surroundings, especially the pesky weird spotless nimble big brown cougars next door. She thoroughly enjoyed discovering her new cougar and tiger neighbors, all from a safe distance, obviously and they also helped her ease her trust in us.

The SSP program focuses on the conservation of near threatened, threatened, endangered, or animals in danger of extinction when conservationists believe captive breeding will assist in their chances of survival. They maintain a healthy and genetically diverse animal population and are created and maintained by accredited AZA facilities. When the animals are near retirement due to decreased genetic diversity, demonstrate genetic deficits, or decreased reproductive capabilities they are “adopted” to sanctuaries. We have been involved with multiple acquisitions of cheetahs and an ocelot through this program.

After her initial learning curve days, Yoda’s personality started to shine through. She is a very clever girl that enjoys the company of humans from a short distance. She also loves to eat! Her favorite is bone nights because she gets two meals. Our smaller cats and Yoda get a bone but because of their metabolism they also get a bowl dinner. Don’t tell Yoda that it’s not as much food as non-bone days! Yoda also enjoys her enrichment, especially piles of leaves and cardboard boxes. When you come to see her make sure you look at her paws closely. Cheetahs are like canines in respect to their paws. Their claws are only partially retracted which allows for better grip when they run during their hunts, giving them the extra surge and making them the fastest land mammals. She is a smart girl who picks up on patterns quickly and we are lucky to have her.

Species: Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus)

Sex: Female
Born: July 6th, 2014
Re-homed: December 21, 2022