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Namibia: Founder of the Fund saving cheetahs from extinction

Namibia: Founder of the Fund saving cheetahs from extinction

Namibia

Without Laurie Marker and Cheetahs Conservation Fund, Cheetahs would probably be fewer on earth today.

Laurie Marker, 63, from America and Executive Director of the Cheetahs Conservation Fund, has been influential in saving Namibia’s cheetahs since the 90’s.

With a speed of 70 miles per hour, cheetahs are considered as the fastest cats on earth.

I wanted to know everything about them, but the more questions I asked people would say, we don't know much about them, if you find out something, let us know

Her initiative started 40 years ago when she visited Namibia and discovered the merciless killing of the cheetahs by hunters.

She began researching and providing practical support to farmers and this has stabilized the Namibian Cheetah population

Today, she has noticed a change in the attitude of the farmers after several training programmes.

“I have been told to take all the cheetahs out of here and go away, but people have actually been very genuine, and I think it comes from the fact that as I have met the people I have said to them, you know I grew up as a farmer. My first degree is in agriculture… So I think I have gone from an interesting person to somebody who has brought greater value to the farming communities,” Laure Marker said.

This initiative is seen as a model for other countries where Cheetahs are poached.

From 100,000 Cheetahs a century ago only about 12,000 are left in Africa.

As a formidable campaigner, Laurie founded the Cheetah Conservation Fund in 1990 based on her experience at a wildlife park in Oregon, USA.

“I wanted to know everything about them, but the more questions I asked people would say, we don’t know much about them, if you find out something, let us know,“she said.

Cheetahs lack the power of lions, hyenas or leopards where competition is tough and the mortality rate of cubs is estimated at 90 percent.

Laurie Marker who holds a doctorate in zoology from Cambridge moves around the world giving lectures on why it is important to live together with cheetahs.

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