Somalilandsun: Two 8-week-old cheetah cubs were rescued from a village near Erigavo, Somaliland by the Ministry of Environment & Rural Development (MoERD).
It is illegal under Somaliland law to have cheetahs as pets, but local farmers often take them in or sell them off in the exotic pet trade after chasing them away from their livestock. MoERD and the Cheetah Conservation Fund provide medical treatment and rehabilitation, but the cheetahs often have to remain in captivity as they are too tame to survive back in the wild. The two orgs are working to teach farmers how to manage their livestock while minimizing cheetah-human conflicts.
Last Tuesday the Somaliland police said it is holding ten suspects who have been rounded up in two separate incidents of wildlife trafficking in the past three weeks.
The police said some suspects were arrested in Hargeisa while attempting to sell three young cheetah cubs to the highest bidder while others were nabbed after being caught in possession of cheetah cubs.
“We successfully confiscated 10 cheetah cubs from a known gang of traffickers in the Xeedho area on the outskirts of Hargeisa. Two key suspects are in police custody, and they will be brought to justice as soon as possible,” Kayse Sudi Arale police spokesperson said in a statement.
The cubs from the two incidents were placed Hargeisa cheetah Sanctuary in the immediate care of Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), Ministry of Environment and Rural Development’s partner in the counter cheetah-trafficking project.
The CCF said its veterinarians and animal care staff examined the animals and found a host of health problems typically seen in cheetahs that have been in the hands of unskilled captors for more than just a few days
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