For some of us who have grown up watching the Cheetah hunt down prey in all its splendor and magnificence over prime time Discovery television, it is hard to even believe what we has been revealed by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).
Cheetah – the fastest land animal in the world, has now been officially added to the list of Endangered Species by the UNEP. That means that this sprint king of nature is now on the verge of disappearing from the planet forever, unless conservation steps are not taken with immediate effect.
The UNEP stated that the Cheetah is already extinct in 18 countries that it previously roamed due to loss of natural habitat, hunting and lack of a proper captive breeding program. The survey claims that less than 10,000 of these magnificent animals are left in Africa today, while only 50 of them roam in Asia – a continent where they once were found in plenty.
Along with the cheetah, 21 animal species were named in a UN Wildlife Treaty, including three dolphin families, six bird species and African wild dogs.
The world is currently facing a sixth wave of extinctions mainly as a result of human impacts and despite 100 government organizations and 70 independent environment groups meeting and passing resolutions at Rome, it will be hard to stop the wave if the promises are not translated into action soon.
The cheetahs need vast hunting grounds, good bush cover and the sparse trees to both kill and guard its prey. With humans clearing the forests at an incredible pace and vast plains shrinking rapidly, the cheetah is being driven quickly to extinction.
Even though there are other animals on the list of extinction, nothing will hit us harder than the lack of the fastest land animal on the planet, if at all it disappears. One surely hopes that after this new warning signal from UNEP, the world wakes up and takes notice before that pulsating hunt at 90 mph on the African Savanna is gone forever.
Lovely isn’t it ?