Villagers in north-eastern Kenya out-ran and captured two cheetahs they accused of killing their goats. The villagers — near the town of Wajir — waited until the hottest part of the day to chase the cheetahs, which after some six kilometres became too tired to run any more.
The man who led the hunt said he decided to take action after 15 of his goats were killed and eaten by the cheetahs. Th villagers tied the cheetahs, which were caught alive, and took them to police demanding for compensation.
The police later handed the animals over to the Kenya Wildlife Service. The villagers said they spared the lives of th ewild animals because they want compensation for their goats.
Mr Hassan, from a village near Wajir town, said the cheetahs were attacking his goat herd over several weeks.
“These cheetahs killed 15 of my goats – they were coming to my house daily to kill my goats,” he said.
He said he decided to return to his village to organise their capture at a time of day when cheetahs get very tired and usually rest in shade.
I was sipping a cup of tea when I saw them killing another goat,” he said, explaining that this was early in the morning.
He said he waited until several hours later when the sun was high to go after them.
“I called some youths and we ran after them,” he said.
“We caught them and we brought them to the local authorities.”
BASIC FACTS ABOUT CHEETAHS
The fastest land animal in the world, the cheetah is a marvel of evolution. The cheetah’s slender, long-legged body is built for speed. Cheetahs are tan in color with black spots all over their bodies. They can also be distinguished from other big cats by their smaller size, spotted coats, small heads and ears and distinctive “tear stripes” that stretch from the corner of the eye to the side of the nose.
Cheetahs eat mainly gazelles, wildebeest calves, impalas and smaller hoofed animals.
n 1900, there were over 100,000 cheetahs across their historic range. Today, an estimated 9,000 to 12,000 cheetahs remain in the wild in Africa. In Iran, there are around 200 cheetahs living in small isolated populations.
Historically cheetahs were found throughout Africa and Asia from South Africa to India. They are now confined to parts of eastern, central and southwestern Africa and a small portion of Iran.
Found mostly in open and partially open savannah, cheetahs rely on tall grasses for camouflage when hunting. They are diurnal (more active in the day) animals and hunt mostly during the late morning or early evening. Only half of the chases, which last from 20 – 60 seconds, are successful.
Cheetahs knock their prey to the ground and kill with a suffocating bite to the neck. They must eat quickly before they lose the kills to other bigger or more aggressive carnivores.
Cheetahs are also typically solitary animals. While males sometimes live with a small group of brothers from the same litter, females generally raise cubs by themselves for about a year.
Mating Season: Throughout the year.
Gestation: Around 3 months.
Litter size: 2-4 cubs
Cubs are smoky in color with long, woolly hair – called a mantle – running down their backs. This mantle is thought to camouflage cubs in grass, concealing them from predators. Mothers move cubs to new hiding places every few days. At 5 – 6 weeks, cubs follow the mother and begin eating from their kills.