Three Mara cheetah cubs moved to city orphanage
Three cheetah cubs at the centre of a row between the Mara Conservancy and the Kenya Wildlife Service have been moved to the city. They were found abandoned on March 2 by the local community and KWS veterinarian alerted staff at Mara Conservancy. All efforts were made to locate the mother to no avail resulting in the rescue of the cubs, who were taken in by the conservancy.
The Mara Conservancy consulted experts at KWS and reached a consensus to try and rehabilitate the cubs for release into the wild. The cubs have had minimal human interaction to facilitate easier release but were picked up on Friday by KWS officials for relocation to the Nairobi Animal Orphanage.
The cubs have received global attention in an effort to get them returned to the conservancy for possible rehabilitation. There are concerns about the current state of the KWS-run orphanage with many concerned about the "humanising" the animals.
The Nairobi animal orphanage has come under heavy criticism after KWS publicised images of cheetahs wearing ribbons on valentines day. The use of cheetahs in public events has also been criticised, with many raising the flag on the unethical commercialisation of Kenya's wildlife.
According to reports from the Mara triangle, there are now less than 50 cheetahs in the area. The three cubs would have boosted the population should their rehabilitation been successful and allowed to continue unhindered.
An online campaign has been launched to try and return the cheetahs to the conservancy in the hope they will once again run free. The online petition was initiated by an Australian based organisation, cee4life, and can be found at www.thepetitionsite.com.