Friday, December 10, 2010

Mystery of the Swimming Cheetah

A Cheetah was spotted swimming in the sea off Khalid Port.

Staff from the Dubai Zoo and the Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Wildlife at Sharjah Desert Park both agree that under normal circumstances that a Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) would not take to the water.

This leads to one to believe that this animal had leaped from a boat and made a bid for freedom by swimming to the coast of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.

The two year old female Cheetah was first spotted by a couple of Pakistani and Bangladeshi nationals who saw it swimming quite close to a Dhow. It came ashore both wet and frightened and sought shelter in front of a mosque.

To begin with there was some panic as people were unaware of what the animal was or how dangerous it could be. Staff from the Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Wildlife at Sharjah Desert Park arrived and tranquilised the animal and took it back to the centre. Here it will be quarantined and its health monitored before a decision is made on where to place it. The Centre already keeps some thirty Cheetah.

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