There Are Now Only 7500 Cheetahs Left In The World
They’re among the most beautiful and ancient of the big cats, with their breathtaking speed fascinating human beings for centuries.
The animal kingdom would be far poorer and less interesting without the gorgeous cheetah.
Sadly, habitation loss, an illegal wildlife trade and encroaching human populations means cheetahs are in grave danger of being wiped out altogether.
As reported by The Telegraph, there are now less than 7,500 cheetahs left in the wild, with 90 per cent of the cheetah population having been lost within the last century.
The highest concentration of cheetahs can be found in the sub-Saharan African country of Namibia, with approximately 1,500 adults and adolescents still left in the wild.
This preservation is apparently largely due to the tireless work of Dr Laurie Marker, who co-founded the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) in 1991.
Speaking with The Telegraph, Dr Marker spoke about the pioneering work of CCF:
Everything needs to come together in order to protect the cheetah in the future.
We don’t want to keep them in a captive environment, but if we must, they should be kept in the proper way, with the right food and facilities, so that the public can see them and be educated about them.
To date, 1,000 cheetahs have been cared for by CCF conservationists, with 600 of these having been returned to the wild.
Dr Marker told The Telegraph how some cheetahs will spend the rest of their lives with CCF, for various reasons including injury and old age:
People always ask about rewilding, because it sounds so sexy – but unless we make a place for animals to live in the wild, what is the point of putting them back there?
The truth is we have no wild – we have people everywhere, and in Africa it’s people and livestock, and the wildlife has got nowhere to go. So the only way for us all to live together is to work with people.
As reported by the National Geographic, cheetahs once lived throughout almost all the countries of Africa and many of those in Asia.
However, cheetahs are now predominantly found in just six African countries: Angola, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa, and Mozambique. Cheetahs are reportedly already nearly extinct in Asia, due to a demand for pet cheetahs.
You can find out more about the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) on their website.
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