During her first week as Somaliland’s minister of environment and rural development in 2013, Shukri Haji Ismail Mohamoud learned that five cheetah cubs recently had died in the ministry’s building. The cubs had been confiscated from a smuggler by police and ministry staff, but no one in Somaliland had the expertise to care for them, so they ended up in the government office in Hargeysa, the capital.
“I had no clue about what was going on,” she says recently. Then law enforcement rescued another six cubs and brought them to the ministry too.
“Why are people taking cheetahs?” she recalls asking her staff. “And they said, because they are selling. Selling! They are not goats; they are not sheep; they are not