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Saving the Namibian Cheetah

This episode of MYD Earth sheds light on how Namibian conservationist Patricia Tricorache who has been fighting alongside international counterparts to stop cheetah trafficking.

Patricia, who is the Assistant Director for Strategic Communications and Illegal Wildlife Trade at the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), talks about a little known threat to the fastest mammal on earth. 

She says that in terms of trying to conserve certain populations of wild Cheetahs, especially in North East Africa where they are being taken in huge amounts, an estimated 300 cheetahs are sold per year in the pet trade mostly in the Middle East. 

MYD: What is this doing to Cheetah populations in Africa?

The cheetah is Africa’s most endangered cat. Unfortunately, lions are getting to be a close second, so in most parts of Africa the cheetah has gone extinct. I mean, now there are cheetahs only in about half of their range. At the beginning of the last century there were about a hundred thousand cheetahs in over 42 countries in Africa and in Iran. In Asia and India, there were about 100 000, now the latest census, the latest survey indicates that there might be only about 7 000 in the whole world. 

MYD: Is there anything that we here in Namibia can do to assist with the problem?

Well, in Namibia or anywhere else, the problem needs to be announced. It needs to be reported any time anybody sees a cheetah pelt or a cheetah cub that is where it shouldn’t be, that needs to be reported to the authorities … In terms of Namibia, CCF has been here for 26 years and we have been able to build ties with the Government, with the communities, with everybody that shares land with the cheetah.

MYD: Would you say that we are an example to the rest of Africa when it comes to Cheetah conservation?

I think definitely Namibia is one of the trendsetters in terms of conservation policies and in terms of the people living with this wildlife.

MYD: Is there anything else that you’d like to share with us going forward?

I just really want to thank Namibia for being such an amazing country in terms of you know integrating conservation in their constitution and allowing NGO’s like ours to work here and for the people to welcome us to listen to what we have to say.   

We don’t want to have to tell our kids that we didn’t, we were not able to protect them (cheetahs), and to allow them to see them in the wild rather than in a zoo or pictures and encyclopedias.

Watch the MYD Africa Show on One Africa TV every Tuesday at 20h00 with repeats on Thursdays at 06h30 and Sundays at 19h30. 

Listen to the MYD Earth Show on 99FM every Monday at 18h00.