ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) — One of the oldest cat species on the planet is in trouble, and the Cheetah Conservation Fund is making herculean efforts to change that downward trajectory.
The cheetah is threatened by human-wildlife conflict, habitat loss, and loss of prey throughout its range in Africa. The species is also impacted by illegal trade. In the Horn of Africa, about 300 cheetah cubs are taken from the wild and smuggled into the Gulf peninsula to be sold into the black market pet trade.
To make a positive impact on these dire circumstances, Dr. Laurie Marker started the Cheetah Conservation Fund in 1990 and has been working diligently toward their preservation ever since. Efforts include raising awareness of their plight, re-educating local farmers, and introducing the use of “Livestock Guarding Dogs.”
Viewers who are interested in helping can visit the website, www.cheetah.org. There is a list of things people can do, under the tab marked “You Can Help.” Sign up for the newsletter, make a donation, and more.
In Namibia, the cheetah facility is open to the public 364 days a year from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tour the facility, watch resident cheetahs run during daily exercise sessions and go on cheetah safari drives. Visitors can also stay overnight and interact with staff and researchers. A new five-suite lodge, Cheetah View Lodge, opened on the property in July, so visitors can stay longer and witness cheetah conservation in action.
Dr. Marker will present a Brown Bag discussion at the ABQ BioPark Zoo on Wednesday, October 4 at 12:30 in the Colores Education building.
To learn more about the cheetah conservation efforts or to make a donation, visit the Cheetah Conservation Fund website.