Iran’s only endangered Asiatic cheetah cub, Pirouz, died on Tuesday at the age of 10 months despite several days of treatment for kidney failure, according to Tasnim News Agency. The young cub was the only survivor of a litter of three endangered Asiatic cheetahs.
Pirouz and the other cats in his litter were the first Asiatic cheetahs to be born in captivity in Iran, and they were born in the Touran wildlife refuge in Semnan province. The Iranian government has been making efforts to save the Asiatic cheetah, which is one of the world’s critically endangered species.
The United Nations has also been working with Iran to step up efforts to rescue the species. The Asiatic cheetah, a close cousin of the southeast African cheetah, was once found throughout the Red Sea to India. However, its numbers have dwindled to an estimated 50 to 70 animals remaining in Iran, down from as many as 400 in the 1990s.
The decline in their population can be attributed to poaching, hunting of their main prey, gazelles, and encroachment on their habitat. Cheetahs have also been hit by cars and killed in fights with sheepdogs. Shepherds who graze their flocks in areas inhabited by the cheetahs are permitted to do so.
Iran’s attempts to save the endangered Asiatic cheetah
Iran has long tried to save the Asiatic cheetah and, despite this setback, is continuing its efforts to protect the species. The government has implemented conservation measures, such as providing incentives for farmers to protect cheetahs, increasing patrolling in protected areas, and building cheetah breeding centres to try to increase their numbers in captivity.
The Asiatic cheetah is not only a national symbol of Iran but also a significant part of the country’s cultural heritage. It has been depicted in ancient Persian art and poetry for centuries. The death of Pirouz, the only surviving cub of his litter, is a blow to the conservation efforts to save this endangered Asiatic cheetah from extinction.