Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
The ultra-rich are illegally buying cheetahs as pets, leading to extinction (cnn.com)
36 points by spking 55 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 15 comments



Unfortunately this is nothing new. This was a thing in mogul India centuries ago, it was a thing in Europe, it was a thing in Ottoman Asia Minor and it was a thing in Roman times. The rich have always wanted to have menageries to show off their wealth.


Can go even farther back; cheetahs were just as domesticated as dogs in ancient egypt two millennia before the Romans conquered the Mediterranean.

Makes sense too; accounts from people who work with them say they have almost none of the "wilderness" that makes something like a tiger impossible to domesticate and are essentially really big and fast house cats.


> are essentially really big and fast house cats

Having friends with house cats, and seeing what a regular sized house cat can do to a person, a really big and fast house cat sounds scary!


Big and fast they are, but not all that strong. At Wild Cat Fund <https://wildcatfund.org/cats2.html> events, the leopards are considered a lot more dangerous.

I got to pet one of their cheetahs once. It packs a rather impressive purr.


I'm not trusting my family with an animal that can catch and take down a gazelle.


>Unfortunately this is nothing new.

An example of it being done in ancient Rome even.

>In what might be the world’s oldest recorded awkward situation, the Roman orator Marcus Tullius Cicero spent much of his term as Cilicia’s governor trying to ignore a very specific request from his former legal client Marcus Caelius Rufus. In several letters sent over the better part of a year, Caelius repeatedly begged Cicero to capture and send him a group of local leopards. He needed the animals, he explained, because he was trying to launch his political career—and nothing won over voters’ hearts better than live exotic animal hunts in the arena.

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/03/exotic-a...


Right, I acknowledged that, but thanks for the apt illustration.


Did you even read his full post because he mentions Rome?


I quoted and linked an example...


Apparently, there are more tigers in captivity in the US than there are in the wild. https://www.worldwildlife.org/stories/more-tigers-in-america...


Well if, as they say, this is leading to the extinction of the ultra-rich then, the environment will almost certainly benefit.


This actually might save the cheetahs. If there is a market for living cheetahs, people might try to actually breed them in captivity. We have no shortage or house cats or dogs because those animals are pets.


You'd have to change public perception to where owning one is more equivalent to a horse, which is a major investment in both land and money, than to a large dog or whatever


Cheetahs are extremely difficult to breed in captivity: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheetah#In_captivity.


Can I refer you to the title




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: