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Cheetahs in Chains: From Africa to Arabia

October 14, 2014 by Leave a Comment


The News

Cheetahs can run a staggering 75 mph, but that’s not fast enough to escape their captors. Each year, animal traffickers in Africa kidnap an estimated 100 cheetahs to supply the exotic pet trade in the Middle East, where big cats are status symbols.

Kuwait City

Kuwait City (photo: www.ar15.com)

Doha, Qatar

Doha, Qatar

Most captive cheetahs were stolen from their mothers as cubs, who are easier to handle. This cheetah, being kept as a pet in Tanzania, was rescued by government authorities.

Captured cheetah by African border control

Captive cheetah in Tanzania rescued by authorities (photo: Rosa Mosha)

Cheetahs are an endangered species; fewer than 10,000 remain in Africa — down from 100,000 in 1900. Kidnapping isn’t the only culprit. Their numbers are also declining due to habitat destruction, the construction of fences that block hunting routes and a diminishing number of prey.

Historic & current cheetah range

Historic & current cheetah range

Capturing wild cheetahs isn’t just bad for conservation; it’s also bad for the cheetahs, who suffer in captivity. No palace in the Middle East can replicate their natural habitat, where they live amongst members of their own species, hunt, raise their young and run faster than the speed limit:

As part of its “Global Campaign to Keep Cheetahs off Chains,” Born Free USA, which estimates that 70% of smuggled cheetahs die in transit, is calling on members of the CITES treaty to increase enforcement at borders and strengthen the laws. CITES is the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

Your Turn

To learn more about the plight of exotic animals held captive as pets and to find out how you can help, please visit Born Free USA.



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TheirTurn.net Comments

  1. Hey there! I’ve been following your weblog
    for some time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you
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  2. Gloria Conbde says:

    WILD ANIMALS SOULD BE IN THE WILD…NOT CAPTIVE OF HUMAN ASSHOLES!!

    1. At least Educated says:

      Yall are haters with no money……….I just want to inform you that no body cares about your article, because non of it is true. Also, these people are cable of taking care of their pets and it is not your place to come out of nowhere and lecture these ignorant people on something that is so irrelevant from the world biggest problems. If these people were abusing their cats, you would say they are savages, but they are not. Cats (small cats) are actually meant to be outdoor animals and were never meant to be living inside the house, or sleeping on the cat condo. I live in the US and was looking to get a Cheetah from a breeder not from Africa and that is how these Arabs get their big cats. It’s very clear that no one on this website can afford an exotic pet. Therefore, I highly suggest you get a life because you seriously need one.

  3. MOREY says:

    WE HAD FOUR CHEETAHS SITTING ON THE FRONT OF OUR JEEP IN KENYA IN THE JUNGLE. THE MOST BEAUTIFUL ANIMALS YOU COULD EVER IMAGINE. I ONLY HOPE SOMETHING IS DONE TO KEEP THEM SAFE.

  4. Sarah Beth says:

    Seeing these gorgeous creatures on leashes in cars with people is horrifying! What is wrong with people? We all need to pressure the bodies that govern this to do a better job and be a voice for the voiceless.

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