Episode 49 - Why The Cheetah’s Cheeks Are Stained (A Traditional Zulu Story)


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Today’s story is a traditional Zulu story about Cheetahs. If you notice it looks like Cheetah’s face has tear marks and this story tells us why. Kwasuka sukela, which means once upon a time in Zulu, a lazy and wicked hunter wished he could have the meat without the work (hunting) and steals cheetah cubs to do his work for him. The mother cheetah cries until her tears make dark stains down her cheeks. Today the cheetah wears the tear stains on their face as a reminder to the hunters that it is not honorable to hunt in any other way than that which is traditional.

Scientists warn that at the rate cheetahs are disappearing, they could be lost forever. Cheetahs face a number of threats, including massive habitat loss, retaliation killings by humans, and trafficking for the illegal pet trade. The last thing they need is to be shot for fun by a trophy hunter. Hope a cheetah mother doesn’t have to cry again for her cubs’ future.

62 episode