*NEWS*US TAKES CUSTODY OF ABUSE CHEETAHS

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*NEWS*US TAKES CUSTODY OF ABUSE CHEETAHS

 user 2005-11-29 at 11:04:00 am Views: 62
  • #13312

    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.