KEY POINTS

  • Rangers found the cubs hiding in shrubs and waited for the mother to return
  • The mother had no choice but to abandon the little ones due to severe drought
  • Drought in northern Kenya is taking a heavy toll on the wildlife and livestock

Three cheetah cubs in Kenya are now in safe hands after they were abandoned by their mother. Believed to be only a few days old, the cubs were rescued from Wajir County in northeast Kenya by rangers from the Sabuli Wildlife Conservancy.

It is not normal for cheetahs to abandon their cubs, but rescuers believe the mother had no choice but to leave them behind because of the drought in the area, according to CengNews.

“We’ve recently experienced a severe drought, and a mother cheetah killed a goat from a nearby settlement,” Mohamed Sharmarke, the Sabuli Wildlife Conservancy’s chairperson, said. “The villagers chased away the cheetah who was eating the goat.”

Sharmarke said the cheetah cubs were found hiding in the shrubs. The rangers waited for the mother to come back to her little ones, but when she did not return, they took the cubs in their care.

“We couldn’t leave them after a few hours because it was getting dark and we were afraid of predators,” Sharmarke said.

The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) praised rangers from the Sabuli Wildlife Conservancy for ensuring the safety of the three abandoned cubs. “They were later flown by KWS Airwing to Nairobi Animal Orphanage where they are being taken care of by KWS wardens,” KWS said on social media.

The drought that has gripped northern Kenya is taking a heavy toll on the wildlife and livestock in the region. Sabuli Wildlife Conservancy recently tweeted about the death of 11 giraffes “due to the worsening drought in Wajir.” They also mentioned how livestock and the livelihood of people in the area is “slowly being wiped out.”

“If they die, we all die,” said Yusuf Abdullahi, a local who lost 40 goats, according to The Associated Press.

Sharmarke also mentioned how wildlife is succumbing to the effects of the drought in the area. “The heat on the ground tells you the sign of starvation we’re facing,” he said earlier in November.

Experts noted how Africa contributes the least to global warming, and yet, the people living on the continent suffer the most from its effects. They believe such climate shocks are expected to occur more frequently on the continent.

“Africa, while currently responsible for a negligible amount of total global greenhouse gas emissions, is under significant threat from climate change,” said Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in October at the opening of a regional early warning climate center in Nairobi, the country’s capital.

Executive director of East Africa’s Intergovernmental Authority on Development, Workneh Gebeyehu, also said at the opening, “We do not have a spare planet in which we will seek refuge once we have succeeded in destroying this one.”

cub-ge53f6e558_1920 Representational Image Photo: Credit: Pixabay