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U.S. Troops Find Abused Cheetah Cubs
ISSUE 201
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A New School Fees Hike Suggested As Solution For Deteriorating Educational Standards

World Bank And UNDP To Invest In ‎Distance Education‎

A Local Contractor To Sue UNHCR For Defaulting On Payment

Political Insignificance & A Virulent Pursuit Of Power

Sister Of Aid Worker Slams Death Penalty

‎"I'm Convinced Now That Somaliland Should Be ‎Allowed To Be A Separate Country"‎

UNICEF: Communities Key To Ending Female Genital ‎Cutting In Somalia

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SOMALIA: President Asked To Intercede On Behalf Of ‎Journalist Forced Into Hiding In Puntland

Somali Government, U.S. Firm Sign Deal To Fight Piracy, ‎Along Coast

Entry Into Force Of The African Protocol On Women's ‎Rights And Launching Of the 16 Days Activism‎

Ethiopian President Appoints Somali Ambassadors‎

Eritrea Inflicted On Dawit Isaac Ended‎‎‎

Aid Agency Opts To Hand Out Cash Instead Of Food

U.S. Warns About Piracy Off Somalia, Yemen‎

Use Of Antipersonnel Mines Declined In 2005‎But Burma, Nepal and Russia Continue to Lay Mines‎

U.S. Troops Find Abused Cheetah Cubs

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WPC Shooting Suspects Linked To Somali Gangs

BUSH PLOT TO BOMB Al-Jazeera

Aid Agency Opts To Hand Out Cash Instead Of Food

Former Envoy Praises Bush Anti-Terrorist Partnerships ‎With Africa

Student's Killer Gets 15 Years

FEATURES & COMMENTARY

The Country That Wants To Be

Any New Countries On The Horizon? Somaliland ‎Winning Increasing Support

The Isaq Somali Diaspora And‎Poll-Tax Agitation In Kenya, 1936-41 ‎(part 3)

Fact sheet

Overview Of Humanitarian Environment In Somaliland‎

Opinions

PUBLIC ANTICIPATION From The Three Political State Parties

Monkey Business Part 2!‎

Somaliland’s War Of Ideology Is Over. What Will ‎The Next Challenge Be?‎

A Kind Memo To FAO's General Director Dr. Diouf ‎On The Plight Of Somaliland Rural Population

High On A Hallow Hambug.‎

Close The Meeting. Put The EU Guy On ‎First Plane Out Of The Country!‎


GODE, Ethiopia , November 25, 2005 (AP) — U.S. troops found two cheetah cubs _ one of them blinded _ being forced to fight each other for the amusement of jeering children in this dusty, forgotten village.

The soldiers of the U.S. counterterrorism task force for the Horn of Africa were in the region carrying out humanitarian work when they came across the three-month-old cheetahs "performing" at a restaurant run by Mohamed Hudle. The Djibouti-based task force provides intelligence-gathering help to countries in the region, tries to bolster cooperation and border protection, and mounts humanitarian projects aimed at improving the U.S. military's image among Muslims.

The troops provided medical treatment to the blinded cub, fed them both and tried to persuade Mohamed to hand them over to wildlife officials. They contacted U.S.-based cheetah experts as well as Ethiopian authorities.

U.S. military officials refused to discuss the animal rights turn their hearts and minds campaign took in Gode. But Befekadu Refera, an official of the Environmental Protection Agency in the capital, Addis Ababa , confirmed the U.S. military had contacted his agency about the cubs and even offered to fly the pair to Addis Ababa , 684 miles away for care.

The cheetah is endangered because of loss of habitat, poaching and other factors, according to the international Cheetah Conservation Fund.

In Gode Wednesday, the rescue appeared to have hit a snag.

"I don't see why I should hand them over," Mohamed said. "When I was younger I looked after goats and camels, so I know what animals need."

Mohamed said he would only give up the cheetahs if he was paid $1,000 for each cub _ 10 times the average income in this impoverished Horn of Africa nation with an estimated 77 million people.

His sons, 4-year-old Abraham and 2-year-old Nur, pulled the cubs' tails and dragged them around their sun-parched yard by ropes tied tightly to their necks. Other children followed, poking and teasing the frightened cats.

Mohamed, 43, said he bought the cubs from poachers and he does not know what happened to the mother. The poachers had kicked the female cub in the face, blinding the animal, he said.

Keeping wild animals is illegal without a special license, but Ethiopia 's wildlife laws are rarely enforced. Mohamed also has a hawk with a broken wing and three scrawny baby ostriches.

Deputy Wildlife Minister Ahmed Nisir has sent officials to try to secure the cheetahs' release and a government vet is expected to visit Saturday.

"Unless these cubs are properly looked after and cared for they will soon die," said Befekadu of the Environmental Protection Agency.

If they are brought to the capital, Befekadu said, they would be cared for on the large grounds of the National Palace , home to several Abyssinian lions rescued by former Emperor Haile Selassie.

 


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