First wild born cheetah for 40 years in Arabia15/04/2010 23:46:58 Cheetah cubs born in UAE wildlife reserve on Sir Bani Yas Island
April 2010. The last known Arabian cheetah was shot in Saudi Arabia in 1950, though they may have hung on in Oman until around 1970. Now 4 cubs have been born in the wild in a nature reserve on an island off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. Wildlife Extra believes that this is also the first time that cheetah have successfully been reintroduced into the wild anywhere in the world.
The cheetahs on Sir Bani Yas Island are from captive bred populations. The mother and father of the cubs, Safira and Gabriel were raised in Dubai's Wildlife Centre and the Sharjah Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Wildlife. The cheetahs were brought to the island as part of conservation efforts which include breeding, re-wilding, releasing into the Arabian Wildlife Park to become an integral part of the natural population control for hoofed species on the island.
Cheetahs taught to hunt for themselves
Low survival rate
Exotic zoo or recreating the wild?
There is a question as to whether this project is a large scale zoo or a bona fide conservation project. Wildlife Extra believes that, if these cheetah are genuinely left to be wild, and form the basis for a reintroduction project for the rest of Arabia, it can only be a good thing.
Cheetah for sale in Abu Dhabi
However Wildlife Extra is distressed to find a website based in Abu Dhabi offering cheetah and ocelot kittens for sale. We stress that this is nothing to do with the Arabian Wildlife Park, but it does show that the authorities in Abu Dhabi have a a little way to go to to fully protect cheetah in Abu Dhabi. There can be no conservation while there is a commercial trade in such a rare species.