Riana Van Nieuwenhuizen thought she should do her part in saving cheetahs from extinction, so she bought one back in 2006. The 46-year-old South African left her job at the department of justice and found some temporary employment on a game ranch, where she could raise Fiela.
Now, Riana runs Fiela Funds Cheetah Breeding Project, a non-profit that fights to ensure the survival of cheetahs in their own ecosystem. Along the way, she also took in another 10 big cats, with which she often shares her bed.
Her four cheetahs, five white lions and two tigers are a handful, but Riana loves every one of them and puts up with all their naughtiness. Her 2 dogs have also grown quite fond of the felines and don’t mind snuggling up to them.
Photos by John Liebenberg/BARCROFT MEDIA.