Rest in peace Lakota

10 January 2023


Lakota: 2011 – 2022

We are so sad to announce that one of our beloved cheetahs, a female rescued with her siblings at the beginning of 2012 from wildlife traffickers in Somaliland, has died after a short illness.

Named Lakota, she was bigger and wilder than her sister and two brothers and nicknamed Hissy Spitty, due to her feisty nature. She quickly settled in well to her new home at our rescue centre Ensessa Kotteh in Ethiopia. Exuberant and always up for fun, she liked to wake her companions by gently nudging and pawing at them to encourage them to get up and play.

Caught from the wild to be sold as a pet, Lakota was only around five months old when she was rescued and spent over ten happy years as part of our Cheetah Family. With her companions she enjoyed a spacious, natural enclosure filled with indigenous trees and shrubs, with plenty of room to run.

Cheetahs – and other animals – caught as infants from the wild and exploited by traders, are rarely fed or cared for adequately and many die at a very young age. Already an extremely sensitive species, several of the young cheetahs who come into our centre are found to have nutritional deficiencies and can suffer problems such as metabolic bone disease.

But, fortunately, ‘Hissy Spitty’ did well over the years and lived to a good age for a cheetah. Thanks to the support of our Cheetah Family adopters, she was able to spend the majority of her lifetime enjoying the next best thing to the wild, with her companions and siblings.

Born Free’s mission to end the trade in wild animals continues and our Ensessa Kotteh centre rescued three more orphan cheetah in 2022. You can support this life-saving work when you adopt today.