Elephants, large carnivores, small predators, antelope and vultures are on the list of wild animals the Namibian government is removing from the wild to be “incarcerated for the rest of their lives,” according to an animal protection group in neighboring South Africa.
The National Council of the Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) told Animal Issues Reporter that Namibia has begun taking some 150 animals of a variety of species from the wild and transport them across the Atlantic to El Parque Zoológico Nacional de Cuba, the Cuban national zoo.
“Plans are to relocate the first animals to Cuba by air by October 2012,” said NSPCA, which is highly critical of the project known as Noah’s Ark II.“The cheetah will be part of the package going to Cuba,” Namibian Minister of Environment and Tourism Hon. Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah announced in reference to one of the animal species to be exported. During a speech given at the Cheetah Conservation Fund’s Gala Dinner she added, “That will enable our comrades in Cuba to appreciate the elegance of the Namibian cheetah first-hand while recognizing the great wealth of wildlife that exist in Namibia.”
Patricia Tricorache, assistant director of international programs for Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) told Animal Issues Reporter, “From a conservation education perspective we believe that zoos play a very important role in educating people about the importance of wildlife for the health of ecosystems. We are certain that the National Zoological Park of Cuba is no exception and are happy that Namibia’s incredible natural wealth will be shared with the Cuban people.”
However she added, “We are recommending that the governments take cheetahs that live in captivity already so as not to take them from the wild.”
NSPCA sees it differently, expressing “disgust at the Namibian government’s decision to capture animals from the wild for transportation to Cuba. These animals will be taken out of their natural habitats and sent to a strange land where they will be deprived of freedom and be totally dependent on humans for their daily needs.” Read more about Namibia’s Noah’s Ark II project.
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