This Reuters photo of an orphaned eight-week-old African cheetah cub prompted us to do a little research on the plight of the world's fastest land animal. Rescued by the Kenya Wildlife Services in Nairobi, the cub is now housed in the Nairobi animal orphanage. According to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lists the cheetah as an Endangered Species, but quotas for "trophies" are provided to Namibia (150), Botswana (5) and Zimbabwe (50). So why are Cheetahs endangered? For starters, loss of habitat, a reduction in its prey base, conflicts with livestock farming, and a reduced ability to survive in parks and reserves due to the presence of larger predators. These factors have led the cat to suffer from inbreeding and high infant mortality. One organization dedicated to the cause is the Cheetah Conservation Fund—they offer an adoption program that runs about $5,000 a year. But really, it all comes back to the big circle: conservation, dedication to an environmentally-conscious lifestyle. Who knows, maybe if you start composting today, you could save a cheetah or two... ::Cheatah Conservation Fund ::Reuters AlertNet
Photo courtesy of Planetark.org, copyright 2006 Reuters Limited.