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The Cheetah pictures on this page are not the Cheetah's of Cango Wildlife Ranch

POISONING TRAGEDY DEVASTATES CANGO WILDLIFE RANCH - OUDTSHOORN

The staff of the Cango Wildlife Ranch in Oudtshoorn were devastated that 7 of their hand raised cheetah have apparently been deliberately poisoned in what appears to be a well planned, malicious act. This appears to have happened at lunchtime on Sunday 11th November.

Mr Andrew Eriksen, owner of the Ranch says that the cheetah started to show signs of being unwell at approximately 2 o'clock on Sunday and staff on duty called the Senior Curator, the General Manager and himself to say that something was wrong. All hell broke loose with the animals collapsing one after the other. The Ranch's vet Dr Glenn Carlisle was immediately informed and the animals were transferred to the surgery, which looked in the end "like a scene from hell", as the vet together with the Ranch's staff struggled to save the cheetah.

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Mr Eriksen continues, "the effects of the poison were horrific - 3 of our cheetah died one after the other. Naf and Cuddlebum, 2 boisterous 18 month olds died first, followed by a 9 month old female, Aurora. The 3 others including the sister of Aurora continued to fight the effects of the poison, long into the afternoon, which included hemorrhaging in their lungs, giving them the sensation of drowning, whilst the 7th cheetah, named Goggles, who it appeared had luckily ingested very little of the poison, reduced the staff to tears when she started to come round and on seeing her handlers, started purring and licking them, displaying the incredible bond of trust that develops between these cats and those who care for them.

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All of the endangered animals at the Ranch, including the cheetah are supported by the Cheetah Conservation Foundation, a non-profit organization and as there is a fear that this could happen again, the Foundation feels it essential to provide security to their surviving cheetah as well as the other endangered big cats which include the only white tigers in Africa.

To this end the Foundation, located at the Cango Wildlife Ranch is appealing to corporations and members of the public who can help them with the donation of CCV cameras and systems, fencing or money, as the estimated cost is approximately R100 000.00.

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The Ranch is further also appealing to anyone who may be able to assist the police with their investigations to contact us so we can pass on this information.

A reward of R10 000 has been offered for any information leading to a conviction.

Anyone who is able to assist in any way should please contact Jenny Schmidt, Public Relations Officer, Cheetah Conservation Foundation 021 852 6336 or Rob Hall, General Manager, Cango Wildlife Ranch 044 272 5593

Original story

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