Tumbo - The Disabled Cheetah Cub of Kenya - Cee4life

Tumbo was found alone and crying, 5km from Lemartis camp, Kenya by a group of children herding goats. They brought him to Lemartis to seek help for him, Lemartis obliged. KWS was informed immediately of Tumbo’s presence. It was March 2012. Lemartis took Tumbo to a Nairobi Vet where Tumbo had his hips and pelvis radiographed and was diagnosed with severe calcium deficiency. He was immediately started on dietary supplement Calphos (calcium) and a specialised exercise and diet regime was in place. Additionally, he was vaccinated against Rabies, Cat Flu, and Feline Enteritis. Tumbo was allocated a 24/7 carer at Lemartis who implemented the Veterinary exercise regime of walking distances each day and swimming. On these walks, Tumbo would be walked past various tourist venues. As Tumbo grew a little older, Lemartis became aware that Tumbo’s front legs were worsening and took him back to the Veterinarian. Tumbo was then diagnosed with “Bilateral Valgus deformaties of both carpi, probably due to Short Ulna Syndrome”. On the 23rd August 2012, Tumbo’s Veterinarian advised and recommended URGENT SURGICAL INTERVENTION. A photograph surfaced of Tumbo with a group of visitors which caused some to suspect exploitation. This photograph was taken when Tumbo was on his daily exercise and the carer was asked if Tumbo could be in a photograph with them. It certainly wasnt a daily occurrence. Lemartis gave KWS a courtesy call to reassure them that Tumbo was not being used as a tourist attraction. KWS in return told Lemartis that they were coming to confiscate Tumbo. Lemartis provided KWS with all Veterinary information and went into negotiations, desperately trying to save Tumbo from the Nairobi Orphanage. The Veterinarian wrote a letter which included the vital need for urgent medical care in addition to providing Tumbo with a humane facility at Lake Navisha for Tumbo to recover from his operation and live a humane existence. KWS seemed to ignored it. Tumbo was confiscated and taken firstly to the Nairobi Vet section of Nairobi Orphanage. Lemartis went into negotiations. Then something strange happened, Cee4life was informed that a KWS employee alleged that if Lemartis paid $3000 for Tumbo, it may ensure he goes to the ethical and humane Lake Navisha. The money was paid, Days went by, and after repeated phone calls and email correspondence from Lemartis ( and getting no written correspondence back from KWS) it was verbally told to Lemartis over the phone that Tumbo was now a captive inside the unethical environment of Nairobi Orphanage. His operation is ignored, he is heard to be crying consistently. There is no answer or justification of why Tumbo is not allowed to be treated humanely for his condition. This is unacceptable. This horrendous situation begs the questions – Will KWS ignore professional Veterinary diagnosis and recommended program for health and humane care for Tumbo? Will KWS released Tumbo for his recommended URGENT SURGICAL INTERVENTION? What has the $3000 given Tumbo because for every animal confiscated off people, there is NO requirement to pay a fee. Was the $3000 payment legal? And did an employee at KWS coerce and lie to Lemartis to get money? Cee4life will do our best to get the legal and professional medical care implemented for Tumbo and try to get him to a humane facility, but when you are up against a Government body that seems intent on ignoring any ethical animal care, it is very difficult. Please help spread Tumbo’s plight around the world, Time is running out for him. Please bring down the power of the people around the world for this disabled and very in need little cheetah.

Dear President of Kenya, Minister of Wildlife Kenya, Director of Kenyan Wildlife Service,

This petition letter is in support of the release of the disabled Cheetah Cub, Tumbo, from the Nairobi Orphanage.

Tumbo is a young 7 month old cheetah cub, who was hand raised at Lemartis camp, Kenya with full knowledge of Kenyan Wildlife Service.  He was disabled from birth and Lemartis has meticulously cared for him since March 2012.

Tumbo has been diagnosed with a severe disability and the Veterinarian which Tumbo has been under care of, has urged and prescribed urgent surgical intervention immediately and release to a KWS approved and endorsed facility in Lake Navisha area.

At this point, Tumbo has been now confiscated and is languishing in a small enclosure inside the Nairobi Orphanage and is heard crying. He is in pain and he needs the care and urgent operation prescribed by his Veterinarian.

We humbly ask you to please release Tumbo for his urgent surgical operation, and future care to the Lake Navisha facility.


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