Somalilandsun – In the past two months, 11 cheetah cubs have been rescued in three raids by the authorities in Somaliland which has become a main trafficking route for cheetahs out of East Africa into the Middle East.
“The rising trade in cheetahs and other animals for luxury pets in the Middle East is helping to drive critical populations of wildlife to extinction in Somaliland and North and East Africa,” said Shukri Ismail, Somaliland’s environment minister.
The rescued cheetahs are being cared for by Somaliland vets and the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), a Namibian research and lobby institution, which has 14 cubs in a temporary “safe house” in the capital, Hargeisa.
Since the CCF began working with the Somaliland government in 2011, it has intercepted more than 50 attempts to traffic cheetahs.
But, said the CCF’s assistant director of Illegal Wildlife Trade, Patricia Tricorache: “We believe as many as 300 cheetahs are smuggled from Africa into the Middle East every year.”
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