A RESCUED cheetah cub has been named in memory of Rotherham wildlife artist Pollyanna Pickering on what would have been her 78th birthday.
The tribute by The Born Free Foundation, where Pollyanna was a patron, came after they rescued two cheetah cubs from the illegal wildlife trade.
The male and female cubs, thought to be siblings, were seized by the Somali State authorities in Ethiopia at about three-months old, having most likely been taken from the wild to meet the demands of the pet trade in the Middle East.
The cubs were undernourished and walking with a slight limp, but after a few weeks of care are starting to show signs of recovery in their new lifetime home at Ensessa Kotteh, the foundation’s wildlife sanctuary in Ethiopia.
Pollyanna, who grew up in Rotherham, was world renowned for her paintings of endangered species sketched from life during expeditions which took her to some of the most remote and inhospitable parts of the world.
As a patron of The Born Free Foundation she was always delighted when her artwork could help to raise funds for a cause so close to her heart.
Virginia McKenna, actress and founder of Born Free, said: “Pollyanna first came into our lives 30 years ago. She travelled to India to do a painting of five tigers we had rescued from a travelling circus.
“We were, from the start, bound by our love and admiration for animals. And it was through her extraordinary talent as a wildlife artist, her loyalty to our charity and our deepening friendship, that our relationship never ended.
“Her name will live on through Pollyanna, the beautiful little cheetah, and in our hearts.”
Pollyanna’s daughter Anna-Louise, president of the Pollyanna Pickering Foundation, said it was a “fitting tribute” to her mum, who died in 2018.
“She was passionate about conservation and the animals which she painted and always had a special love for cheetahs,” she added.
“Our foundation will fund the care of little Pollyanna cheetah in her new home, and we are proud to be able to give this beautiful cat the opportunity of a safe and happy life in the beautiful surroundings of Born Free’s sanctuary after such a sad and traumatic beginning.”
To find out more about Pollyanna cheetah, visit www.pollyannapickering.co.uk/foundation.