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Sunday, November 27, 2005

U.S. troops in Ethiopia to rescue cheetah cubs

Associated Press GODE, Ethiopia -- Two endangered cheetah cubs held captive and abused at a remote village restaurant are to be rescued by an Ethiopian veterinarian and U.S. soldiers, an environmental official said.

Befekadu Refera, an official of the national Environmental Protection Agency, said the veterinarian was to take the cheetahs away from Gode on Saturday and hand them to U.S. troops for safekeeping until the animals are flown to the capital, Addis Ababa.

"The U.S. Army will not take the cheetahs without Ethiopian officials being present," Befekadu told The Associated Press. "The vet will give some medical treatment to the animals and then on Monday or Tuesday they will be flown to Addis Ababa, courtesy of the U.S Army."

The plight of the cubs has gathered international attention since American soldiers, part of the U.S. counterterrorism task force for the Horn of Africa, last month discovered the animals tied up and being forced to fight each other for the amusement of patrons at the Gode restaurant. One cheetah has an eye infection and may be blind.

The soldiers tried to persuade restaurant owner Mohamed Hudle to hand over the cubs to wildlife officials. Mohamed refused, saying he wanted $1,000 for each cheetah. The soldiers also contacted U.S.-based cheetah experts as well as Ethiopian authorities, who have intervened.


Anonymous Elissa Fineman said...

Apparently, the same guy has a hawk with a broken wing and three malnourished ostrich babies. Does anyone know if these guys are also being rescued?

11:32 PM  
Blogger Sherry said...

I didn't know about the hawk and ostrich babies. I hope they are saved, too!

They need to start getting tough as nails on these animal abusers.

Thanks for your comment!

2:19 AM  

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