Cheetah Outreach
Cheetah Outreach
20 years (1997 to 2017)
Promoting the survival of the free ranging, Southern African cheetah through environmental education and delivering conservation initiatives.
Meet our Team - Staff


South African Staff
Dawn Glover - Education Officer

Dawn Glover - Manager

Dawn, a zoologist, 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 programme 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.

Liesl Smith

Liesl Smith - Curator

Born and educated in South Africa, Liesl qualified with a BSc in Animal Physiology and Zoology and an Honours Degree in Wildlife Management. She spent some years as a High School biology and physical science teacher up country before moving down to Cape Town. Shortly after the move, Liesl started volunteering five days a week at Cheetah Outreach.  In 2001 she joined the staff and in 2003, took over management of the Cheetah Outreach facility.  Besides managing the daily operation, she has assisted in the implementation of the Anatolian Guarding Dog Programme in South Africa and helped develop the foundation-phase education resource.


Bonga Matina

Bonga started working at Cheetah Outreach in January 2008.  He started out helping with maintenance and in the kitchen but showed so much promise after his first year that he was trained to be a handler.  He left Cheetah Outreach at the end of 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.  He’s an experienced and hard-working handler who knows all the cats well.



Brittany Lowe

Brittany joined the Cheetah Outreach staff in August 2016 after working at the facility for 4 years as a professional photographer for Timsa Photography. When she first met one of our cheetahs, she was hooked and knew that she wanted to work in wildlife conservation. During her 4 years at the facility, she came to know the people and animals of Cheetah Outreach well and helped out with walking our dogs when she had time. She developed a love for animals while growing up on a farm and is very eager to learn as much as she can about cheetahs and other species involved in our programme. Brittany is a welcome addition to the Cheetah Outreach family with her passion and enthusiasm for animals.


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. Savannah, well-liked by everyone, is a welcome addition to the Cheetah Outreach team.


Hendrik Gerber

Hendrik joined the Cheetah Outreach staff in March 2017, bringing a lot of experience working with animals over the years. He spent 7 years working for Nature Conservation, working to protect reserves through anti-poaching patrols, firefighting and dealing with the public. He also worked in anti-rhino poaching and spent a year working for the SPCA as an anti-cruelty inspector. Before coming to Cheetah Outreach, he gained some experience caring for 2 captive-born cheetahs, including building and enhancing their enclosure and providing enrichment for them. With his great building and carpentry skills, he has taken over maintenance of the Cheetah Outreach facility. We are pleased to have Hendrik with all his skills on the Cheetah Outreach team.


Charles Mukaro

Charles started working at Cheetah Outreach in May 2017, helping with maintenance and in the kitchen. He is not only a very hard worker but learns quickly, and now runs the kitchen when needed. Always friendly and smiling, Charles is well liked and a very welcome addition to the Cheetah Outreach team.


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 a welcome addition to the Cheetah Outreach team.

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 helping out in the kitchen when necessary. 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's a welcome addition to the Cheetah Outreach team.


Lu-Mari Groenewald, Manager Franschhoek Facility

Lu-Mari joined the Cheetah Outreach staff in August, 2018 to manage the Franschhoek facility. Lu-Mari completed a course in nature guiding in 2010 and did her practical experience at the Dell Cheetah Centre, working there for 2 years as a volunteer coordinator and animal handler, including doing cheetah encounters with the public. From 2012 to 2016, she worked at Cango Wildlife Ranch as an animal handler, working with lemurs, cheetahs, tigers, servals, caracals and bat-eared foxes. Her duties included training and doing public encounters with the animals, and helping to hand-raise cheetahs and tigers. From 2016 to 2017, she worked at the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre, first as a guide doing tours with the public and later as animal handler and finally as the Education Officer, in charge of training and school visits. We are very lucky to have Lu-Mari with all her vast experience working with cheetahs and other wild animals join our team.


Adrienne Alldermann, Education Programme Facilitator

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 programme and helping Mary set up school visits and develop different education activities. She has now also taken on the administration of the volunteer programme and bookings.


Mary Maphori Possa - Education Assistant

Mary, a qualified teacher with 20 years experience working in Primary Schools in the Western Cape, joined Cheetah Outreach in May 2009 to assist in the expansion of the education programme.  Mary was offered the position based on her previous relationship with Cheetah Outreach in designing resources, presenting at workshops, and her incredible passion and energy for education.  Mary speaks four local languages, which together with her knowledge of the school curriculum, is a valuable asset to Cheetah Outreach. 


Cyril Stannard, Livestock Guarding Dog Project Manager - Territory West

Cyril joined the Cheetah Outreach team in February 2008 as project coordinator of the Livestock Guarding Dog (LDG) Project. He worked with Anatolian shepherd dogs for 10 years, beginning with the Department of Agriculture, before coming to Cheetah Outreach. A big part of his job has been the placement and monitoring of Anatolians on South African farms on a monthly basis to ensure they are working and cared for properly. In 2013, the LGD Project was expanded and divided into 2 territories, with Cyril named project manager of the western territory, where he will continue placing and monitoring dogs in the North West Province, a natural distribution range for wild cheetah. Passionate about Anatolians, he enjoys his work immensely and brings a great deal of experience to this important conservation programme.  


Deon Cilliers, Livestock Guarding Dog Project Manager - Territory
East / Research Officer.
Deon joined the Cheetah Outreach team in June 2013 as Livestock Guarding Dog Manager, East Territory. Armed with a National Diploma and MSc in Nature Conservation, he has vast experience working in wildlife conservation. Deon started as an environmental officer for the South African Air Force and later worked as an animal control officer for the Limpopo Department of Conservation. In 2000 he started the De Wildt Wild Cheetah Project and continued until 2009 when he was employed as Human-Wildlife Conflict Mitigation Officer by the Endangered Wildlife Trust. As project manager for the eastern territory of the Livestock Guarding Dog (LGD) Project, he will be placing and monitoring Antolians on livestock and game farms in the Limpopo Province, a natural distribution range for wild cheetah. Deon brings valuable knowledge and experience to the effort to reduce human-predator conflict in South Africa through the LGD Project.

He also manages the Cheetah Outreach porfolio of reseacrh projects.  

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