Animals In Print
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July 10, 2012

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Mara Triangle cub dies at Nairobi Animal Orphanage

Animals in Print Mara cheetah 

News of the forceful removal of the three cubs who were residing at the Mara Conservancy in Mara Triangle by the Kenyan Wildlife Service caused an outrage around the world. Mara Conservancy is the management of the Mara Triangle. They were taken to the Nairobi Animal Orphanage which was strongly opposed by CEE4Life as it was unsuitable. Left in the hands of the Mara Triangle, they would have been given the best care and released back into the wild. These cubs were orphaned when the mother was killed while she was out on a hunting trip. CEE4life originally broke the news of the 3 Mara cheetahs' potential removal from Mara Triangle linking Mary Wykstra, a cheetah worker who has been in Kenya for a number of years. It has come to the forefront from reliable sources that Ms Wykstra allegedly provided the Carnivore Committee with misleading information about the cub when they were at Mara Triangle which resulted in the removal of the cubs. These details are listed on the report soon to be released.

Sybelle Foxcroft, wildlife biologist and cat specialist, who is also the founder of an Australian Conservation organisation, CEE4Life, has confirmed that one of the 3 cheetah cubs from Mara has died this afternoon at Nairobi Animal Orphanage.

Foxcroft stated "I have been reliably informed that one of the cheetah cubs taken from Mara Triangle on the 12th May 2012 has died today. At this point, the cause of death is unknown. The death of this cub is beyond shocking. It is not a difficult task to take care of creatures when you know how. The loss of this cub is a huge blow, as everyone, including the IUCN, knows. This cub would have played a vital part in the expanding of the cheetah population of Mara. It is not that hard to take care of cheetahs as wildlife rehab centres across Africa can testify. On leaving the Mara Triangle, the 3 cheetah cubs were cleared by Veterinarians including KWS, and were found to be in 100% health. On 12th March 2012, the cubs were shown in the media to be inside the orphanage in a cement cell that had no sunlight and there were no visible water sources. If these cubs remained in conditions like that for 2 months, it leaves little to the imagination of why this cub is now dead. In addition, life in captivity has been proven by study to cause undue stress. This cub has basically died in an unethical jail cell that it never should have been subjected to. The remaining cubs are 6.5 months now and they would have been in the 100ha enclosure at Mara Triangle preparing to be released into the wild between 12 -18mths of age, where they were meant to be. The heartbreak of all of this is that it never HAD to happen. Tragically, I have also been informed that Matope the lion is also dead. Cee4life had also assisted in trying to get Matope into another facility with open enclosure and enrichment. His cause of death is unknown."

Animals in Print Mara cheetah 

Once widespread across the African plains, the cheetah has lost 76% of its historical range state and has continued to be threatened by further habitat loss, competition with rival carnivores and persecution by farmers. The cheetah is listed on the IUCN Red list as an Appendix 1 listed species under CITES (Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species). This means that the cheetah is listed as the highest importance and most protected species. Kenya has been a signatory of the CITES agreement since 13/12/1978. On signing the CITES agreement Kenya agreed to abide by CITES. It is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Redlist, and the Cheetah Conservation fund advises that there must be a halt to the indiscriminate capture and removal of the cheetah.

Population estimates place 9000 to 15,000 cheetahs remaining in Africa, and in 2012 it is estimated that there are just eight cheetahs left in the Masai Mara region.

The 3 Mara Cheetahs Cubs were forcefully taken from the Mara Triangle on 12th May 2012 under claims that KWS took them after agreeing with Mara Conservancy that they should take care of them and have them released under supervision and monitoring.

CEE4Life has a very concerning report about to be released, also covering the credibility of the Nairobi Animal Orphanage. There is a growing concern regarding professionalism, conduct and husbandry skills of staff at the Orphanage, along with the captive facilities.

Sybelle Foxcroft added "I am beyond devastated at these deaths and questions as to why this cub, and Matope, died, must be answered. Healthy animals do not suddenly just die like this. We have been trying so hard to get these cubs back to where they rightfully belong. We had hopes especially for the female cheetah. There is severe concern about the welfare of animals inside of Nairobi Animal Orphanage and I request outside urgent professional care, outside of Nairobi Animal Orphanage, be sent in immediately to ensure that the other 2 cheetah cubs do not also die, or any other animals that are also vulnerable."

"The importance of this situation cannot be put into words adequately, however, if there were a higher category of endangered status between critically endangered and extinct in the wild, this is exactly the status of the Mara cheetah population. The death of this cub is a massive blow to conservation, more than anyone knows. It is critical that the remaining 2 cubs be handed back to the Mara Conservancy immediately."

The much awaited detailed report will be released during the week, where crime, corruption, abuse and negligence will be revealed. Right now, CEE4Life is still waiting for a response from KWS. Hopefully they make the right one if they are concerned about reviving the almost extinct cheetah population.

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