Monday, May 21, 2012

Wild at Heart: The Cheetah

Over the next week, I will be bringing you previews of the work that will be exhibited at May 26th's "Wild at Heart: Keep Wildlife in the Wild," the endangered species benefit that Andrew Hosner and I are co-curating at Thinkspace. 20% of the proceeds of the show will go to Born Free USA to help threatened wildlife. Hope to see you there!

Souther Salazar "Mama Cheetah (with two Baby Cheetos)"

The Cheetah is the fastest of all the land animals, capable of running short bursts at up to 75 miles per hour and accelerating from 0 to 60 in just three seconds. Long regarded as the emblem of kings, cheetahs have been captured and tamed by rulers from the Egyptian pharaohs to modern-day dictators. In the wild, they range over Africa and parts of the Middle East. Relying on their speed to hunt, they avoid competition with other predators, to which they are vulnerable. About 12,500 cheetahs remain in the wild, where they are threatened by increased pressure from other stressed predators, as well as human encroachment into their habitat.

 Earlier this month, Born Free took responsibility for four cheetah cubs rescued from wildlife dealers. They transported them to Enessakotteh, Ethiopia’s first wildlife rescue, conservation and education center, where the cubs joined half a dozen other rescued cheetahs that live at the sanctuary. Some of the cheetahs will need to receive a lifetime of care there, while others can be rehabilitated and returned to the wild.

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