Thumbs Down

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Yep, Hully's championing the animals' cause again.
Cover image: pixabay.com.

Submitted: November 09, 2019

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Submitted: November 09, 2019

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Thumbs Down

Another report on the news caught my attention this morning. Yes, it was about wild animals; in particular humanity’s tendency to once more be cruel and exploit. This time I’m talking cheetahs, and in particular, cheetah cubs.

Look at a picture of one and doesn’t it look absolutely adorable! Who wouldn’t want to own one in their dreams, but it is when these dreams are turned in to reality that problems occur. These are wild cats, not domestic ones. They need space to be able to thrive; they do not need human company but the companionship of their own species. For all of that, no doubt there can be examples put forward to show that the baby cheetah can be tamed, and will successfully make a pet... Until it doesn’t, because sooner or later something will occur to bring its wild nature to the fore.

That is not really what this essay is about though. It is about the eradication of a species. These animals are the fastest alive, reaching running speeds of 60-70mph (97-113 kph). Clearly they need a lot of space, and again, humanity in it’s ceaseless greed for land, is taking more and more of their territory. Add to that the cub smuggling and you have the instant recipe to produce an endangered species.

Cub smuggling is a very lucrative business, and it continues despite the more and more stringent laws to control it. Trapped in the wild, sometimes at the expense of their parents lives, cubs are loaded in to crates, with no water or food provision, to begin their long journey from the Horn of Africa to, primarily, the Middle East. This is where the demand for them as pets is greatest.

Of all the cheetah cubs that are caught, it is estimated that only one in six even survive the journey. About half of those captured are dead before leaving the Horn of Africa. Successful raids have been carried out, finding cubs crated with their dead siblings; those that have survived so far are emaciated and dehydrated. They need extensive veterinary treatment before they can be re-homed in protected environments.

Why do people do this? The smugglers are only after one thing and that is money. There are many desperate people that these rings can employ for a pittance of what they are making. The people that buy them as pets? Well, it’s got to be a status thing. They live under the illusion that owning a cheetah makes them look... cool. Sure, there is no denying that it shows they have money; but they have no conscience, no morals, no heart – at least so far as wild-life is concerned.

When you come across an image or a film posted on social media that depicts a cheetah as a pet, I’d urge you at the very least to give it a thumbs down. Let’s try and show that this is so ‘uncool’ before the species in the wild disappears completely.


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