We recently had unexpected guests at our CCF safe house in Somaliland – two lion cubs. These lion cubs were destined for the illegal pet trade and were on their way to being trafficked along the same route as the cheetah cubs that are all-too-frequently being brought in through the doors of our safe house. The Police and Ministry of Environment and Affairs had intercepted the lion cubs at the Somaliland border with Ethiopia.
The cubs were believed to be three to four weeks old when they arrived, in extremely bad condition and suffering greatly as a result of being taken from their mother and had been poorly cared for since. Shortly after arriving at the CCF safe house, the male cub sadly passed away despite our best efforts to save him, but we were able to save his sister who we named Iman.
Over the past five months, we have cared for Iman, nursing her back to health to ensure that she will be able to lead a healthy life, albeit in captivity. Iman was recently transferred into the care of Born Free Foundation who will be caring for her from here on in.
CCF are fighting to combat the illegal pet trade that is showing no signs of slowing down. With trafficking of cubs at an all-time high, the amount of young individuals that will make up the next generation of reproducing cheetahs is becoming dangerously low. Wild animals being removed from the wild, whether they are cheetahs, lions or other species, is having a devastating impact on many endangered species populations and CCF is doing all we can to improve legislation and law enforcement, and raise awareness, but it is a long and difficult battle. Want to help? You can support our rescue efforts and our awareness campaigns to show the true nature of the illegal pet trade by donating to CCF UK or sharing this story on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and spreading our message far and wide.