Rescued cheetah cub named in memory of pollyanna pickering


A cheetah cub rescued earlier this year by Born Free has been named Pollyanna in honour of Born Free Patron, Pollyanna Pickering, who passed away in 2018.

The cub, named by Pollyanna’s daughter Anna-Louise, was seized by the Somali State authorities in Ethiopia, having most likely been taken from the wild to meet the demands of the pet trade in the Middle East. Thought to be about three months old, and rescued alongside her brother Coro, Pollyanna is now receiving lifetime care at Ensessa Kotteh, our wildlife sanctuary in Ethiopia.

Virginia McKenna OBE, Born Free’s Co-Founder and Trustee, said: “I cannot describe how much it means to me that Anna-Louise has named the little female cheetah Pollyanna in memory of her mother. Not only that, she is going to fund her lifetime care.

“Pollyanna first came into our lives 30 years ago. She travelled to India to do a painting of five tigers we had rescued from a travelling circus. We were, from the start, bound by our love and admiration for animals. And it was through her extraordinary talent as a wildlife artist, her loyalty to our charity and our deepening friendship, that our relationship never ended.

“In a very special connection to the past, we planted a tree in her name at Ensessa Kotteh. This is one of the many places where her name will live on. Through Pollyanna, the beautiful little cheetah, the flourishing tree, and in our hearts. She was, as we all know, one of life’s true givers. Illustrating a poetry book by the amazing poet Richard Bonfield and holding numerous events for Born Free at her gallery. And always warming us with her smile. But for me she was, above all, a loyal, generous and beautiful friend– qualities that Anna-Louise has inherited beyond all doubt.”

Pollyanna Pickering with one of her artworks

Updating on Pollyanna, Maggie Balaskas, Born Free’s Animal Rescue & Care Manager, added: “Both cubs have settled in well to their new life at Ensessa Kotteh, they have made a good recovery from their ordeal, are certainly more relaxed now and continue to gain confidence. They have been getting along famously and appear to have a close bond, rarely straying far from one another, playing together, and grooming each other.”