Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The tragic loss of a young female cheetah caught in a snare trap

On the morning of Sunday 12th June 2011 Marlice van Vuuren received a telephone call reporting a leopard caught in a snare near Brakwater, north of Windhoek, Namibia.

A team, including Marlice and her husband Dr Rudie van Vuuren, was immediately dispatched to attend the scene, assess the condition & welfare of the animal and, if necessary, bring it back to the sanctuary for further examination and/or recuperation.

Upon arrival, it was discovered that it was not a leopard, but a young female cheetah no more than about 2 years old. She had tried to pass under the bottom wire of the fence and become trapped in a snare which had encircled her waist, just in front of her hips. So tightly was she entangled that her inevitable struggles resulted in her back being broken in the lumbar region of the spine. The injuries caused by the snare, in conjunction with the stress, shock and dehydration she would undoubtedly have suffered, resulted in her death long before the team from N/a’an ku sê arrived.

The scene was photographed from all angles to properly document the incident. The young cheetah was then cut free from the snare and brought to N/a’an ku sê where it will be examined by researchers to further the scientific knowledge about this extraordinary cat.