Iran's Rare Asiatic Cheetah Cub Dies of Kidney Failure

Iran's Rare Asiatic Cheetah Cub Dies of Kidney Failure

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran's rare Asiatic cheetah cub born in captivity, Pirouz, has died due to kidney failure at a hospital in Tehran, according to state media.

Pirouz, the only surviving Asiatic cheetah cub out of three born at a wildlife refuge in northeastern Iran last May, was just 10 months old at the time of its death.

The Asiatic cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus venaticus, is a sub-species that is critically endangered with only around 50 mature individuals remaining in Iran, according to a 2017 study by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The world's fastest land animal, capable of reaching speeds of 120 kilometres (74 miles) per hour, cheetahs once stalked habitats from the eastern reaches of India to the Atlantic coast of Senegal.

They are still found in parts of southern Africa but have practically disappeared from North Africa and Asia.

Since 2001, Iran has implemented various measures to preserve the critically endangered Asiatic cheetah, including a UN-supported protection program.

One such measure is the creation of the Conservation of the Asiatic Cheetah Project (CACP) in 2001. The CACP aims to conserve the cheetah and its habitat by collaborating with local communities, promoting public awareness, and conducting scientific research.

The Iranian government has also established protected areas, including Kavir National Park, Touran National Park, and Naybandan Wildlife Refuge, to provide a safe habitat for the Asiatic cheetah and its prey.

Furthermore, the country has partnered with international organizations such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to conserve the Asiatic cheetah. Technical and financial assistance has been provided by the UNDP and UNEP to support the CACP's efforts.

Despite these efforts, the Asiatic cheetah remains threatened by factors such as habitat loss, poaching, and conflicts with human activities.

The Iranian government and international organizations' continued efforts are critical in saving the critically endangered Asiatic cheetah subspecies from extinction. The birth of the cubs in captivity was a hopeful sign for Iran's environment department, who had anticipated an increase in the cheetah population.

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