Hyenas to Havana
Plans by Namibia’s government to donate 148 wild animals to Cuba have been criticised by wildlife protection and conservation groups around the world. The BBC reports that Namibia has promised the project, dubbed “Noah’s Ark II”, will be in line with the UN Convention on International trade in Endangered Species (Cites). The animals include lions, elephants, rhinos, cheetahs, hyenas and leopards.
Namibia, which fostered close ties with Cuba during its independence struggle during the 1970s and 1980s, is funding the $1m (£646,000) project.
But South Africa’s National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said it regarded the move with “disgust”. “It is saddening to note that 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,” the group said in a statement. The first shipment to Cuba will be made in October.
The donation was agreed in 2009 during a visit by the Cuban President Raul Castro to the sparsely populated southern Africa country, which has great expanses of desert and game-rich grasslands. Read full article here and Care for the Wild’s comment here.