A team of conservationists has released three adult cheetahs, rescued from the hands of an illegal wildlife trader, into Tarangire National Park in Tanzania. Authorities seized the cheetahs in a house in the Tanzanian city of Arusha, where they were being held in cramped cages.

The rescue team included experts from WCS, the Zoological Society of London, and Frankfurt Zoological Society, working together with the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute and the Tanzania Wildlife Division.

After the authorities seized them, the conservationists fitted each cat (two males and one female) with a satellite collar. The collars will allow the scientists to monitor the cheetahs’ movements in the coming months and ensure that they are settling into their new home.

This is the first known case of cheetah trafficking in Tanzania, and it worryingly suggests that the illegal trade of this protected species is increasing.