Saudi Arabia arrests cheetah smugglers

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Security forces in Saudi Arabia have reportedly arrested a number of people accused of trying to smuggle cheetahs into the country.

Local media said the suspects had travelled on foot across rough terrain on the border with Yemen.

The security personnel noticed movements in bags that the smugglers had on their backs. They were opened, and the cheetahs discovered.

The animals are trafficked from the Horn of Africa to the Gulf states, where they are sold as pets.

Conservationists say many die en route, and warn that the illegal trade is threatening to wipe out the cheetah populations in countries like Somalia and Ethiopia.

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