The Regional Court of Marodijeh in Hargeisa has sentenced six defendants caught on April 16th by Somaliland law enforcement with nine cheetah cubs. The prison terms for the smugglers range from one and a half and two years and monetary fines of up to three million Somaliland Shillings, or around 350 US dollars. Some suspects were sentenced in absentia.
According to the report by the Somaliland government broadcaster, three of the cheetah cubs have died and the remaining six were transferred to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. The report did not mention the cause of death of the cheetah and it’s unclear why the cheetah cubs remained in law enforcement custody and were not immediately transferred to an appropriate facility.
Somaliland is home to the critically acclaimed cheetah where 6700 adult cheetahs are estimated to remain in the wild.