A Second Cheetah Is Saved By Born Free In Just Two Weeks After Being Confiscated From Wildlife Traffickers In Ethiopia

On December 28th of last year, the Born Free team at the Ensessa Kotteh Ethiopian Wildlife Rescue Center received a request from the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority to take in a young rescued cheetah.

Estimated to be between six and seven months old, the cheetah was confiscated from wildlife traffickers over 1000km away in the Ethiopian city of Keberi Dehar. This was the second urgent rescue of a cheetah in only two weeks. The first was the arrival of a sub-adult cheetah at the rescue center under very similar circumstances.

“There are just 7,000 wild cheetah left across Africa. Persecution and habitat fragmentation are huge challenges. But the illegal trade in live cheetah cubs, mainly into the Middle East as exotic ‘pets,’ is a brutal drain on a species on the edge,” Will Travers, President and Co-founder of Born Free told WAN. “Rescuing individuals saves each one from suffering and cruelty. However, stopping the trade, securing habitat and natural prey species, and mitigating persecution are key to improving the prospects for these amazing animals.”

Due to the distance of where the cheetah was found, and the fact that the journey would take Born Free staff through several regional governments, permission from the authorities had to be granted before the rescue mission could take place. Therefore, it was not until nearly a month later at the end of January 2022 that Born Free staff began the six-day round trip journey to rescue the young male cheetah. He was being housed in a police station since being confiscated, and spent some time tied on a short tether before members of the Born Free staff arrived to take him to his new home.

It was a challenging journey which involved two delays at check points on the way back to the center, one of which held the team up for many hours in stressful circumstances. They finally arrived at the center in the late evening of January 30th. 

Upon arrival, the young cheetah, now named Dehar, was malnourished, dehydrated, and had a very dull coat, suggesting poor health. He also has an old injury to his leg which is currently being monitored. It will take a lot of work to settle this new arrival in and get him up to good health. The poor animal has had a very stressful start to life and is understandably nervous of his surroundings, but he has eaten well and already shown interest in some of the enrichment provided to him.

You can help Born Free save more animals like Dehar by virtually adopting a cheetah www.bornfree.org.uk. 

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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