Cheetah Cub SOS: Update

5 July 2023


Aided by supporters, Born Free recently rescued two cheetah cubs – thought to have been wild-caught – from the illegal wildlife trade in Ethiopia.

Three images of cheetah cubs looking healthy and happy at their sanctuary home

Thanks to your donations and adoptions, our team in Ethiopia is hard at work caring for two young cheetah cubs – Ramadan and Fasika. Aged just four or five months’ old, the brother and sister should be safe by their mother’s side but, were saved from the illegal wildlife trade, having no doubt been stolen from the wild.  

Orphan cheetahs are extremely vulnerable and the siblings were sick, hungry and afraid when rescued. Born Free launched an emergency fundraising appeal to help cover their medical expenses and special diet.

Fortunately, the pair are now doing well and starting to recover from their ordeal at Ensessa Kotteh, our rescue centre, close to Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa. You can still donate and adopt to help provide the loving, lifetime care these helpless cubs so desperately need.

The cubs were rescued when, in April this year, our team was contacted by the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority. The cubs had been confiscated by the Regional State’s Environmental Protection and Rural Land Administration Bureau and urgently needed Born Free’s specialist care. The male, Ramadan and female, Fasika were underweight, dehydrated and suffering with internal and external parasites, when our team – led by Ensessa Kotteh’s Head of Centre, Bereket Girma, arrived in Jijiga following a treacherous two-day drive. Despite their fragile condition, the little cubs were relatively alert, and our Centre’s vet felt they would be fit to undertake the long journey back to the safety of Ensessa Kotteh, where they could be given round-the-clock care.

“I am so happy to report that, since their rescue, Fasika and Ramadan are doing well and starting to gain weight,” said our Head of Rescue & Care Maggie Balaskas. “They both have good appetites and their condition is gradually improving. They both had a slight limp for a couple of days but, Bereket thinks this is because they at last have the energy to play and got carried away rolling around and pouncing on each other. They can be quite boisterous together, just like cheetah cubs naturally would be, which is wonderful to see!”

Ramadan and Fasika are still in the quarantine area but, have recently been given some supervised time in the attached outdoor space. Eventually, they will be able to live alongside other members of Born Free’s Cheetah Family. Over coming months, our expert, loving team will closely monitor them and, in time, they will be moved to a spacious enclosure filled with natural plants and vegetation, next to the seven other members of Born Free’s Cheetah Family – who are aged between 20 months and 13 years’ old.

Sadly, it isn’t possible for any of our rescued cheetahs to be returned to the wild, as they wouldn’t have the skills needed to survive. But, with your help we can give all our rescued cheetahs the loving care they deserve, for the rest of their lives.

You can help.

Help care for Ramadan, Fasika and all our Cheetah Family by donating and adopting them today. Thank you!