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A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

Can We Save the Cheetah From Extinction?

A new book by Dr. Laurie Marker and wildlife photographer Suzi Eszterhas takes us inside the world of these magnificent animals—and urges us to help prevent their extinction.

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Suzi Eszterhas

Cheetahs are threatened not only by natural predators, but by hunters, poachers, farmers trying to protect their livestock, and loss of habitat. Over 90 percent of the population has been wiped out. 

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Suzi Eszterhas

In one innovative program, Dr. Laurie Marker has donated Anatolian Shepherd dogs to guard livestock from cheetahs. This prevents farmers from killing the big cats while still protecting their own livelihood.

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Suzi Eszterhas

Playtime! Namibian farmers actually call these “playtrees” because cheetah cubs use them for fun.

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Suzi Eszterhas

Here, a cub plays with its mother in Namibia. The cats are active only in the early mornings and cooler late afternoons.

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Suzi Eszterhas

This baby cheetah will will grow up to run 70 miles per hour.

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Suzi Eszterhas

Dr. Marker, who runs the Cheetah Conservation Fund, is also working to restore natural habitat. “Humans have both a spiritual and physical need for nature,” she writes in her book. After 20 years in Namibia, she remains optimistic.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest