Thousands cheetah skins are used for religious ceremonies in South Africa, against the background of the increasing number of worshipers could lead to the extermination of the fastest animals on the continent, according to African zoozaschitniki.
In a recent police raid in one of the communities of the Zulu Nazareth Baptist Church in Africa, police and animal welfare advocates have found 92 cheetah skins, some of which already was altered in ritual clothes.
"After attending religious ceremonies in Africa, you immediately begin to realize that this is not about 92 or 100, or 200 cheetahs hides and skins of thousands of these animals," — said the specialist nature park FIND (Africa) Tristan Dickerson (Tristan Dickerson) whose words are reported CNN.
In addition, the cheetah skins are used in traditional Zulu culture — they are members of the royal family.
According to the report, among the believers of cheetahs in Africa also kill farmers protecting their livestock from predators and poachers. In the latter case, the dead animals are most commonly used for the manufacture of drugs in alternative medicine.
According to Dickerson, the conflict between the church and conservation could be settled if the newly converted believers were not real leopard skin, and artificial. However, according to the church preacher Mlanubantsi Myandi (Mhlanubanzi Mjadu), wild cheetah skins can be worn for about 20 years, and this resistance artificial replacement he strongly doubts.
"If one of the African leaders would say to its subjects," we can no longer wear the skins of cheetahs, but we have an alternative. "This has led to the success of the whole project," — says Dickerson.
Currently, the number of cheetahs living in South Africa, no more than 4500 individuals. In addition, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the number of cheetahs reduced.