Illegal Pet Trade

Cheetah Conservation Fund Rescues Two Cheetah Cubs in Somaliland During COVID-19 Pandemic

  • by CCF Staff April 23, 2020
The two cubs on arrival April 20, 2020 at the CCF Cheetah Safe House. The cub on the right died before morning.

Cheetah Conservation Fund Rescues Two Cheetah Cubs in Somaliland During COVID-19 Pandemic

HARGEISA, Somaliland (April 23, 2020) – Working under the most difficult circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) team completed a cub rescue mission in the southeastern region of Somaliland near Las Anod earlier this week. On April 19 and 20, CCF Somaliland veterinarian Dr. Muse Saed Jama accompanied Wildlife Officers from the Ministry of Environment & Rural Development (MoERD) on a 1,000-kilometer round-trip to recover two young male cheetah cubs in the possession of the Somaliland military. The origin of the cubs is unknown, but they are believed to have been intercepted from the illegal wildlife trade.

Upon arriving in Las Anod, Dr. Muse examined both cats and administered fluids to help stabilize them for the long journey to Hargeisa. Dr. Muse and the MoERD officers traveled almost nonstop to bring the cubs back to the CCF Safe House where they were treated by the project’s lead veterinarian, Dr. Karina Flores Pineda. Estimated to be about five months of age, Dr. Flores Pineda noted they were in very poor health condition, with diarrhea and coccidiosis due to internal parasites as well as a variety of external parasites covering their tiny bodies. Both were severely malnourished and dehydrated. One of the cubs was very sick with diarrhea. Despite the team’s best efforts to help the weakened little cub, he died overnight.

The surviving sibling is doing better, eating all his food, and he is displaying an active, alert demeanor.

“The cub is very hungry, but we’re rationing his food until he’s more stable, then we will gradually increase amount the amount,” said Dr. Flores Pineda.”

We are cautiously hopeful for his survival.”

With the arrival of the newest cub, the number of cheetahs CCF is caring for in Hargeisa rises to 34.

“The surviving cub is a little fighter with a good appetite, which we will take as a good sign,” said Dr. Laurie Marker, Founder and Executive Director of CCF. “But to see how emaciated these cubs are, it keeps us working day and night to try and stop the illegal pet trade, so more cubs do not have to suffer so horribly. We must act now, before the small populations of wild cheetah in the Horn of Africa are wiped out.”

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Cheetah Conservation Fund

Conservation Fund (CCF) is the global leader in research and conservation of cheetahs and dedicated to saving the cheetah in the wild. Founded in 1990, CCF is an international non-profit organisation headquartered in Namibia. CCF is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2020, making it the longest running and most successful cheetah conservation organisation.

MEDIA CONTACT: Susan Yannetti, or +12027167756

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