Cassian Baliarsingh

Lisa Tora Jaqueline Kytösaho is not any ordinary woman. The young, courageous woman’s day begins with cheetahs, snakes, elephants and other wild animals. These have always been a huge part of her life.

Hailing from Sweden, she loved animals from a very young age. She was only 19 when she left her country and moved to South Africa to pursue her passion for wild animals.

Today, she is the head of the Western Cape Cheetah Conservation that focuses on rehabilitation and release of cheetahs into protected areas. She works full-time at the Conservation Center, looking after cheetahs, giraffes, elephants, zebras and many more wild animals.



Sometimes, the cheetahs arrive at the Western Cape Cheetah Conservation Center so young that they need to be bottle-fed. These are orphans or animals that have been kept as pets and they couldn’t survive in the African Savannah.



They need to learn how to stalk, chase and catch a prey. She has a very strong bond with her cheetahs, but doesn’t spend all day playing and cuddling them. It is the daily routine of Lisa to interact with animals and talk to them without saying a word.

Lisa says, “It is all about body language, they read yours as much as you read theirs. These felines are very empathetic, and sometimes I feel like they can read my mind. And if you are not 100% present, they quickly lose interest in you or worst they could attack you.”



“It takes experience, dedication and time, even years to rehabilitate a cheetah. Often they simply want to play, bouncing on you, scratching and biting you, just like they would do with their mother or another cub.  They keep trying their limits just like a dog, but this is way more complicated and dangerous because they are and they will remain wild creatures.”

“It is surreal to have this experience of living with these beautiful creatures and I’m lucky enough to live it every single day,” she quips.







You can follow Lisa’s adventures on Instagram at @lisatorajaqueline