Photo: REX USA/Nathan Edwards/Newspix.
At the risk of going full-on Sarah McLachlan ASPCA over here, please look at this cheetah. He's an orphan. He's sad. Why else is he melancholy? Well, in addition to losing both parents, he's one of the last cheetahs left on the planet. So, as tempting as it may be, please do not keep this little guy as a pet. Yes, this is an actual plea. It's happening.
Cheetahs have become the cool new "luxury pets" in Middle Eastern countries. A report from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species found that cheetah cubs are being sold for as much as $10,000. Owners are trying to give their cheetahs the type of care they deserve; they're walking them on leashes and putting them on treadmills to run. Still, an enclosed home will never be an appropriate place to keep the fastest land animal on Earth. Also, what would happen if a cheetah bolted during a walk around the neighborhood? Perish the thought of the person on the other end of that leash.
Cheetahs cannot thrive in captivity, nor do they breed easily. Many of them die in transit before they even reach their new owners' homes. So, a general PSA to anyone out there who may have been considering getting one as a pet: As cool as Chester Cheetah is in his sunglasses and high tops, actual cheetahs are not as chill as the animated mascot. Whatever happened to having a regular ol' house cat? Sheesh. (Salon)