The Tehran Times reported on December 27th, that following the arrest of an animal-trafficking band in Tehran, an Asiatic cheetah cub was discovered and the required measures were taken for her protection.
“The cheetah, named Iran, was quickly moved to the wildlife rehabilitation center of Pardisan Park for further medical examinations,” said, Hooman Jokar, director, of the Conservation of Asiatic Cheetah Project in Iran.
Medical examinations showed that “fortunately, all of her limbs are healthy; she is just 8 months old and weighs nearly 15 kilograms,” Jokar said. The young cheetah was held in captivity for at least three months and was suffering from malnutrition when she was found. Thankfully, she was spared any serious physical injuries and is expected to gradually recover from the stress and neglect she endured prior to her rescue.
“Trading and keeping animals as pets, importing and exporting any wildlife species should be under the license of the Department of Environment, otherwise it is considered as an illegal act,” said Ali Teymouri, the Department of Environment’s deputy director for hunting and fishing.
He noted that violators are punished by up to three years of imprisonment and a fine of 1 billion rials (equivalent to nearly $25,000).
The main habitat of the Asiatic cheetah in Iran is the Dasht-e Kavir desert, encompassing parts of Khorasan, Kerman, Yazd, Semnan, Tehran and Markazi provinces. Since 1996, the Asiatic cheetah is classified as critically endangered by the IUCN Red List.