The successful birth of three baby cheetahs and a clouded leopard in captivity has inspired hope for the two endangered species.
As incredible as the advancements of humankind have been, and continue to be, all too often those advancements seem to be at the expense of other species in some way. It feels as if we hear about a different animal becoming endangered or even extinct every other day and it's something we have to try and put a stop to.
The staff at the Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation Foundation in Florida are some of those people who have already sprung into action, and they have been having a lot of extremely good news so far this year. A female cheetah at the conservation successfully gave birth to three cubs back in June, and almost exactly a month later they were hit with the news that they were also playing host to a newborn clouded leopard.
Not only are cheetahs and clouded leopards endangered species, but they are also extremely hard to breed in captivity. Co-founder of the conservation, Barry Janks told WCJB news that in 2016 only 192 cheetah cubs were born in captivity, and of those only 138 survived. He also likened the feeling of successfully breeding cheetah cubs and a clouded leopard in the same facility in the same year to "winning the Superbowl."
Mr. Janks also explained that 75 years ago there were around 100,000 cheetahs in the wild, however, in the present day that number has plummetted to less than 7,000. Although he and the conservation don't have the money to continue breeding cheetahs and clouded leopards, they hope to use the newborn cubs that they do have to spread awareness about conservation and the dwindling number of both animals currently in the wild, as it drops with every passing day.
There are some who would argue that keeping animals in captivity is cruel and that zoos, safari parks, and conservations should not exist. However, without them, cheetahs, clouded leopards, and other species may already be extinct. Yes, most endangered species are that way because of what humans have done to the planet, but the work being done at Carson Springs and other similar facilities around the world is hopefully going about rectifying that damage.