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3 Cheetah Cubs

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3 Cheetah Cubs

Post  Doogs on Mon May 14, 2012 1:59 pm

I know quite a few of you will have seen this on FB but just incase some of you haven't.

Three Cheetah cubs were rescued by the Mara Triangle (full story on the first link) and the cubs were going to be raised in the Mara until they were old enough to be released together back into the wild. KWS although initally agreeing to this have changed their minds and arrived at the weekend to take the babies to the orphanage in Nairobi where they will now spend the rest of their lives in captivity in horrible small cages Crying or Very sad

The second link is a petition to get the cubs back to the Mara - can I ask that you please sign it.

There is also lots on the cubs on the Mara Triangle FB Page.

http://sybellefoxcroft.wordpress.com/2012/05/12/the-sacrificial-cubs-cheetah-cubs-of-the-mara-triangle/

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/469/023/430/release-3-wild-cheetah-cubs-back-to-mara-conservancy-for-rehabilitation-in-the-wild/

Doogs Cheetah
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Re: 3 Cheetah Cubs

Post  Laikipia on Mon May 14, 2012 2:35 pm

Thanks Doogs - i've been following this on FB. Petition signed and shared.

Let's hope something can be done for these poor little cheetah cubs, life at the Nairobi orphanage would be soul destroying for them.

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Re: 3 Cheetah Cubs

Post  RMorr50912 on Mon May 14, 2012 5:21 pm

I've been following on FB as well. Signed and shared.



Hopefully these little guys will get their chance to be free.

Ronnie
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Re: 3 Cheetah Cubs

Post  whitestarling on Mon May 14, 2012 5:52 pm

Thanks Doogs been trying to find the petition, lobby link to KWS.
Signed, and shared on FB. With all the friends of WAA FB
WS

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Re: 3 Cheetah Cubs

Post  Laikipia on Mon May 14, 2012 6:10 pm

WS i tried to send you the link via FB - may not have worked though!

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Re: 3 Cheetah Cubs

Post  littlewid on Mon May 14, 2012 9:11 pm

Thats the first I have read of these little Cheetah Cubs Doogs. I am glad that paper got published and I really hope they don't end up in Nairobi for the rest of their lives. They did the same to Miujiza didn't they, she was supposed to stay in the mara and ended up at Nairobi.
I have signed the petition and shared.

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Re: 3 Cheetah Cubs

Post  whitestarling on Mon May 14, 2012 10:01 pm

Thanks Lai, I have'nt checked back yet, as I saw Doogs link on here
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Re: 3 Cheetah Cubs

Post  Doogs on Tue May 15, 2012 9:13 pm

This is rather long but KWS's attempt to justify taking the cubs away Crying or Very sad

The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) decision to move three orphaned cheetah cubs from the Mara Conservancy to the Nairobi Animal Orphanage has been guided by the Kenyan law, the national conservation and management strategy for cheetahs and the specific circumstances under which the rescued cubs were being reared.

The KWS scientists considered all the available options on the rescued cubs and decided that their relocation to an animal welfare facility dedicated to the care of sick, injured or orphaned wildlife in Nairobi was in their best interests.

The Mara ecosystem records cheetah survival rates that vary year to year due to attacks by lions, leopards and hyenas. These attacks result in death of mothers that attempt to protect cubs and individuals are orphaned and injured. This state of affairs has attracted enormous attention with questions being raised about how the
injured and orphaned individuals can be handled.

One suggestion that is made is to raise orphaned cheetahs in captivity, train them how to hunt and then release them to wild to at least give them a chance to live in their natural habitats rather than confine them to live in cages in an orphanage. This would be is the ideal thing to do.

However, attempts to release captive reared cheetahs to the wild have been unsuccessful. Captive reared cheetahs do not have the opportunity to learn from their mothers hunting and survival skills in the wild. Despite the availability of food species, water and shelter in an area, what cheetah cubs learn from their mothers is critical for their survival. Hand raising cheetah cubs in confined areas does not equip them with the skills needed to survive in highly competitive wild setting. Cheetahs learn hunting skills over long periods of time and this is not possible in a captive situation such that necessary hunting skills for survival may not be present.

Cheetah cubs raised in this manner also get accustomed to humans and being fed to such an extent that when released to the wild as sub-adults return to their captive sites to be fed – that is they develop homing instincts – and end up being dependent on the captive site for food.

In other instances due to their close association and familiarity with humans during their early stages of growth, such cheetahs visit human settlements in the vicinity of their release sites causing fear and apprehension, and may take small stock, which results in the cheetahs being killed in retaliation.

All documented releases of captive raised cheetahs to the wild have demonstrated failures. Wild to wild releases have been seen to be more successful but these too are fraught with difficulties as the cheetahs have to establish territories in a new area, compete with other cheetahs and other carnivores. They end up being killed in such competition or being pushed to the periphery of the natural areas where they get into conflict with people and the result is eventual death of the cheetahs.

It is also quite evident that there are serious welfare concerns associated with releasing captive raised cheetahs to the wild. Releasing such cheetahs to the wild is immensely stressful for the cheetahs as these releases almost invariably fail, usually through the death of the released animals. There is absolutely no justification for subjecting any animal to what amounts to intentional cruelty.

In general, release of captive reared carnivores to the wild has been unsuccessful. Some of the successful carnivore reintroduction projects have been of wild to wild such as in Southern Africa where they have a policy of using only wild caught wild dogs for reintroduction. The Yellowstone is another success story where wolves were released back to the wild – this too was a wild to wild release. In some other cases in Southern Africa, wild dogs are raised in captivity and then released ring fenced areas where there are no competitors such as lions, hyenas and leopards.

Kenya’s experience with this was the release of captive raised lions to the Aberdare Ranges in the 1970’s. These lions never completely adjusted to the wild. They formed the habitat of hanging around camp sites, especially when visitors were present and following vehicles along the roads. The familiarity of the lions with people led to this behaviour and this caused a lot of apprehension.

Another example is of a hyena that was hand raised on Mbirikani ranch. The hyena wandered further and further away from where it was raised until it was wild living but kept coming back to be fed. It developed homing instinct.

There is a difference between releasing a captive raised animal to the wild and it actually surviving to breed and contribute to a wild population. Due to the shortcomings associated with release of captive raised cheetahs to the wild, KWS does not consider the supplementation of wild living cheetahs with captive raised cheetahs as a priority project for the survival of the species. Emphasis is on the
conservation of the wild populations.

It was against this background that KWS declined the request for rearing in captivity and release to the wild of the three cheetah cubs as was requested by Mara Conservancy.

It can be argued that the enclosures at the Nairobi Animal Orphanage are unnatural and predispose the cheetahs to a life time in captivity. Considering the consequences of releasing captive raised cheetahs to the wild, providing professional care to the cheetahs at the orphanage is the only other way of assuring them of living.

The animal orphanage is dedicated to the care of orphaned individuals such as the three cubs. We would like to assure the Kenyan and global public that the three cubs will nurtured and given the best care possible. The movement of the cubs to the orphanage was in the best interests of the cubs.

As science continues to experiment the release of captive raised cheetahs and indeed other carnivores to the wild, it our expectation that a protocol for successful releases will be developed to aid decision making in cases similar to the Mara Conservancy cubs.

Kenya supports globally important populations of cheetahs. Such populations are in the Tsavo, Mara-Serengeti and Laikipia-Samburu ecosystems. These cheetahs face challenges that are principally related to space requirements. Loss and fragmentation of habitat together represent the greatest threat to cheetah populations, which contributes to several of the other proximate threats. This is the
number one threat to all cheetah sub-populations in Kenya. Because range widely, they require large areas of land and are correspondingly more sensitive to habitat loss.

Taking habitat loss and other threats to cheetahs into consideration, KWS championed a consultative process of developing a national conservation and management strategy for cheetahs which is now in the third year of implementation. The implementation of the strategy aims to i) promote coexistence of cheetahs with people and domestic animals; (ii) provide relevant stakeholders and managers with scientific and timely information on the status of and threats to
cheetah populations; (iii) strengthen human, financial and information resources for conserving cheetahs; (iv) ensure that appropriate legislation is in place to allow cheetah conservation at the national and international level; and (v) mainstream cheetah conservation in land use planning and its implementation.

Doesn't make me feel any better about their decision No Crying or Very sad
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Re: 3 Cheetah Cubs

Post  RMorr50912 on Wed May 16, 2012 1:23 am

I read this earlier Doogs, it's just a bunch of "rubbish" as you guys would say. There is no way to convince me that a life in what looks like a prison is better than at least a chance for a life free in the wild. If their argument is that it's never been done that's not true, we all know about Toki and Sambu. That was a success. Sambu was always taking risks he shouldn't have and it got him in the end, but he died wild and free. As for Toki, we all know he's probably gone but he too lived at least a somewhat free and wild life. Nobody knows for sure, he may be out there somewhere, no matter how unlikely that may be, there is no real proof he was killed either. The only way to learn how to re-wild cheetahs is to keep trying. And the fact that they agreed to all the suggestions and will only allow them the next time really shows what they are intending for these poor cubs. They will be "star attractions" for the next year and a half or so while they are small and cute, then put on the back burner once the money train stops running through them, then on to the next orphaned cubs they can get their hands on. By the way, don't they intend to release Salome's cubs into the wild? Granted they have their mother to teach them, but alot of their argument is predicated on "captive bred" cheetahs not being successful in the wild. I for one would rather they live 5 years free in the wild than 15 dismal years locked in a cage for peoples amusement. OK guys, rant over, but this one is really something that bothers me. There was no reason to go "kidnap" these cubs, MT and the conservancy had the plans together to one day release the cubs back into the Mara where they are needed, other than money.

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Re: 3 Cheetah Cubs

Post  Laikipia on Wed May 16, 2012 8:13 am

Also read this on FB and it certainly makes no sense to me. I've visited the Nairobi orphanage and found it intensely depressing, it's worse than some of our zoos with no space at all for the animals to roam, they live in small cages with nothing to do or entertain them.

It makes me upset and mad to think that KWS think this is acceptable. As Ronnie says at least give them a chance in the wild, a few years of freedom doing what cheetahs should be doing is better than a lifetime of misery.

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Re: 3 Cheetah Cubs

Post  Doogs on Fri May 18, 2012 12:55 pm

From Jonathan Scott re the Cubs:-

"Hi Everybody - just doing a bit of homework before commenting on the "Cheetah Story" regarding the 3 cheetah cubs from the Mara Conservancy that have been moved to Nairobi.

I can only imagine that this is a very complicated and convoluted situation involving many players/stakeholders which could easily be misread and.../or misrepresented to serve all manner of agendas.

So lets try and keep a sense of balance from the start and deal with the facts.

I will ask Brian Heath of the Mara Conservancy his view - and also Chryssee Bradley Martin at the Nairobi Orphanage who for years has put heart and sole with her team of volunteers in to caring for orphan cheetahs, leopards and lions with no hope of a 'wild' life - or that are waiting to be released back in to the wild.

What I do know is that it is a long, expensive and very difficult process to release cheetahs back in to the wild.

We do know from research in the Serengeti - and Mara - over many years just how difficult it is for instance for a cheetah mother to raise cubs in the more open plains environments in Mara-Serengeti due to competition from larger predators such as lions and hyenas. Ironically there was a time when the Mara Triangle was one of the best places for a cheetah mother to raise her cubs - perhaps when there was a higher level of poaching resulting in lower numbers of lions and hyenas which get caught up in snares and at times are poisoned (cheetahs tend to avoid scavenging so don't fall prey to poisoned carcasses).

So trying to reintroduce cheetahs to the Mara - even those born in the wild and then 'orphaned' - is always going to be a very tough ask. So lets not imply that this would have been easy. And whatever the circumstances that the cubs were being kept in after being taken in to captivity, a degree of human contact/sensitisation is inevitable.

What we are noticing - and Angie and I have witnessed for ourselves in the Musiara, Paradise Plains, Intrepids and Rekero areas of the Northern Mara - is that cheetah cub survival is very poor right now. Our good friend Michel Zoghzoghi was just in this area for a week with me and we did not see a single cheetah of any age - and that would have been very hard to achieve at other times (you could guarantee bumping in to a cheetah even if you weren't looking for one given 7 days in the Mara).

Wherever you have high numbers of lions and hyenas - and leopards to a degree which will kill adult cheetahs when they move through more wooded areas (cubs too!) - you would not expect to see high densities of cheetahs even where optimum prey was available to them. 50-60 cheetahs in and around the Masai Mara Reserve has been the benchmark figure ever since I first came to live there in 1977. This has been pretty much the same even in more recent years - until now. So what is happening? You would expect this to be the case if lion and hyena numbers were increasing. And if human impact in areas favored by cheetahs was making life harder for the cheetahs. And habitat changes could be a factor too. If for instance there was an increase in grassland over woodland - as there has been progressively in the area we are most familiar with (mentioned above) - then cheetahs could feel the crunch. It is harder for a mother cheetah to keep her cubs hidden and easier for lions and hyenas to see what is going on enabling them to more easily locate cheetah kills and to steal their food - and easier to locate cubs and kill them.

So that is a start!"
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Re: 3 Cheetah Cubs

Post  Laikipia on Fri May 18, 2012 3:46 pm

Good reply and comments from Jonathan. Thanks for posting Doogs.

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Re: 3 Cheetah Cubs

Post  whitestarling on Fri May 18, 2012 6:13 pm

It does bring a reality check to the situation when you read what Jonethen says, and you have to respect his knowledge of what is happening on the ground. It's just so hard to except that this is the future for these Cubs.

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Re: 3 Cheetah Cubs

Post  RMorr50912 on Sat May 19, 2012 9:56 pm

I'm sure some of you have already seen this but thought I'd put it up in case you haven't yet. It's kinda heartbreaking to see the change in the cubs after they took them to the orphanage.



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Re: 3 Cheetah Cubs

Post  Laikipia on Sun May 20, 2012 11:26 am

Oh dear, I hadn't seen that Ronnie, what a truly tragic clip, I can only hope it does some good, and that the petition that is being circulated also does some good, and that these poor little orphans cheetahs can be returned to the Mara to live a better life than they will at the orphanage.

Thanks Ronnie - it brought tears to my eyes to watch and is truly heartbreaking, but a reality check of what they may have to endure forever if something isn't done.

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Re: 3 Cheetah Cubs

Post  Doogs on Mon May 21, 2012 1:37 pm

I have already seen the clip but it still brought tears to my eyes watching it again Crying or Very sad Their demeanour has changed completely Sad
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3 Cheetah cubs

Post  cheetahlover on Mon May 21, 2012 8:43 pm

This is the first I have seen of this, I cried again. They seemed so settled and happy in the enclosure and then to be in concrete cages, it seems to be almost as cruel as just leaving them to die. They don't deserve to be in cages like that,no animal does.
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Re: 3 Cheetah Cubs

Post  cheetahlover on Mon May 21, 2012 8:54 pm

Petition signed
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Re: 3 Cheetah Cubs

Post  littlewid on Mon May 21, 2012 10:25 pm

Thats the first time I have seen that too cheetahlover and how upsetting is that. I pray the petition works and these gorgeous three little cheetahs do not end their lives in a concrete prison cell. They look so different in there don't they.
Thanks for posting the link to that Ronnie as upsetting as it is, it needs to be seen.

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Re: 3 Cheetah Cubs

Post  RMorr50912 on Mon May 21, 2012 11:25 pm

I have to admit guys, the video gives me the lump in the throat and tears welling in the eyes, but like you said LW it has to be seen to be effective. I hope with all my heart those little guys get the chance to be free. The orphanage looks like a prison!

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Re: 3 Cheetah Cubs

Post  whitestarling on Tue May 22, 2012 12:09 am

Just thought I'd let you know Ronnie, upto now there has been a 114 views of this topic, so hopefully alot of those will have signed the petition
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Re: 3 Cheetah Cubs

Post  Doogs on Tue May 22, 2012 12:52 pm

That's good to know, thanks WS
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Re: 3 Cheetah Cubs

Post  whitestarling on Fri May 25, 2012 11:52 pm

The Orphans Three

They were born in the Mara to be wild, and free
Not that Oh so sad look , through a wire mesh to see
The plains to roam with their speed, and grace.
And what KWS proposes, would be a total disgrace

It was in the Mara area, that they were born to dwell
Not the life of a living hell, imprisoned in a concrete cell
With our help, to live their lives, whatever their fate
Not on exhibition, with those Oh so sad eyes, now full of hate

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Re: 3 Cheetah Cubs

Post  RMorr50912 on Sat May 26, 2012 3:40 am

Very good WS! I like it! The petition is still going and I just checked, as of now 3,346 signatures so far. I hope it will do some good. Those little guys are far better off taking their chances in the Mara than being forever locked in a cage "for their own safety".

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Re: 3 Cheetah Cubs

Post  littlewid on Sat May 26, 2012 9:09 am

Thats lovely, clever and well said WS Like a Star @ heaven and I agree with you Ronnie but I am also hoping more people sign the petition.

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Re: 3 Cheetah Cubs

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