U.S. TAKES CUSTODY OF ABUSED WILD CATS

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U.S. TAKES CUSTODY OF ABUSED WILD CATS

 user 2005-11-29 at 11:03:00 am Views: 47
  • #12982

    U.S. Takes Custody of Abused Cheetahs
    Restaurant Owner in Ethiopia Kept Cubs to Amuse Customers
    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia Nov.05 – Two cheetah cubs held captive and abused at a remote village restaurant in eastern Ethiopia are now in the custody of a government veterinarian and U.S. troops, a senior official said Monday.
    Government vet, Fekadu Shiferaw, confiscated the 3-month-old cheetahs on Sunday from a restaurant owner in Gode, where they were being forced to fight each other for the amusement of children.
    He gave them to U.S. troops for safekeeping until they can be flown to Addis Ababa, about 700 miles west of Gode, said Kifle Argaw, the government’s senior wildlife vet.
    “They are in the custody of the authorities and will receive medical treatment,” Kifle said. “The U.S military have also agreed to divert a plane to Addis Ababa on Tuesday so we can bring the cheetahs and the vet to the capital.”
    The soldiers, part of the U.S. counterterrorism task force for the Horn of Africa, were in the region carrying out humanitarian work when they came across the cheetahs and alerted the government.
    Mohamed Hudle, the restaurant’s owner, said he bought the cubs from poachers and does not know what happened to their mother. The poachers had kicked the female cub in the face, blinding the animal, he said.
    Keeping wild animals is illegal without a special license, but Ethiopia’s wildlife laws are rarely enforced. Mohamed also has a hawk with a broken wing and three scrawny baby ostriches.
    Kifle said that the government is also planning to confiscate the ostriches and hawk.
    The cheetah is endangered worldwide, in large part because of loss of habitat and poaching, according to the Cincinnati-based Cheetah Conservation Fund.