Endangered Cheetahs

By: Maxine Gimbel

In the 1900s, there were over 100,000 cheetahs in the wild. Sadly, their population has dwindled over the years. Only 9,000 to 12,000 cheetahs remain today. Compared to the approximate amount of 7 billion people on Earth, 12,000 is a VERY small number. This is due to habitat loss and, sadly people hunting the beautiful big cat. Some farmers shoot and trap cheetahs because cheetahs are taking small animals, such as chickens, for food. Now, this may seem necessary, but it's really not. Cheetahs need food, and some cheetahs may have a disability or injury therefore making them need an easier meal. And even if they don't need food, there are more solutions than killing. Many cheetah organizations are trying to solve this problem with classes for farmers and showing people how to get cheetahs to go away from their crops and animals in a way that doesn't involve injuring the cheetah.
Also, people take cheetahs from their homes in the wild to sell or to use as one of those wild babey cats you can pet at fairs and other events. As said in a news article on the Cheetah Conservation Fund website, “In the Horn of Africa, an average 300 cheetah cubs are smuggled out across the Gulf of Aden into the Arabian Peninsula, every year.” Once cheetahs are too old to be appealing to others to pet, the owner may either stop feeding the cheetah, or put the cat in very bad living conditions. This also usually results in an early death.
One way we can help these endangered cats is to donate money to the Cheetah Conservation Fund (the CCF). “We’re a conservation organization working to combat the problems that afflict the human communities that live alongside cheetahs and threaten the cheetah as a species with extinction.” Said Dr. Laurie, the founder and executive director of the CCF. This organization is dedicated to saving the cheetahs. “To prevent further cheetah population decline, CCF works with farmers to investigate, develop and implement predator-friendly livestock and wildlife management techniques that are also exhibited at CCF’s model farm.” As said, the CCF is trying to work with farmers to help keep the cheetah population up by modeling better ways to handle cheetahs. With your help, we can bring back the fastest and most adorable big cat on Earth! So make sure when you go home today, you tell everyone you know about cheetahs and their problems, and maybe they can help donate to the Cheetah Conservation Fund.