Free World - September 15, 2021

Photo by @nicholesobecki / With an airline eye mask and a tissue in his ears to …


Photo by @nicholesobecki / With an airline eye mask and a tissue in his ears to help him stay sedated, a cheetah named Astur undergoes an intake exam at a rescue center belonging to the nonprofit Cheetah Conservation Fund, in Hargeysa, Somaliland. Cubs smuggled or intercepted from criminal rings for the illegal pet trade often get sick, typically because they’re subjected to long, grueling journeys and deprived of proper nutrition. Luckily, Astur made a full recovery after being rescued from a trafficking network through a joint effort by the Somaliland government, veterinarian Asma Bileh, and the @hornofafricalliance, which works to counter wildlife crime in the region through community-based conservation. Our story “Cheetahs for Sale” goes inside the trafficking network that’s draining Africa of its cheetah cubs—and the efforts by Somalilanders to stop the illegal trade. Click the link in Nat Geo’s bio to read it. To see more of my work on humanity’s connection to the natural world, please follow @nicholesobecki



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