Two cheetah cubs found in Turan National Park
Two cheetah cubs found in Turan National Park
Two Asiatic cheetah cubs were found in the protected area of Turan, east of Semnan province.

TEHRAN (Iran News) –Two Asiatic cheetah cubs were found in the protected area of Turan, east of Semnan province.

Two cheetah cubs (less than one month old) were separated from nature by a shepherd but will be returned to the breeding place on Friday, deputy head of the Department of Environment Hassan Akbari, stated.

Immediately, the expert and technical team were sent to the place and tried to ensure the health of the mother of the cubs.
Due to the cold weather, the young age of the cubs and other existing conditions, they were taken to the security guard post in order to save their lives, he explained.

In Turan, cheetahs often give birth in early spring because of the air temperature and other natural conditions are suitable for the cubs’ growth, but cheetahs giving birth in the second half of autumn in Turan is a rare phenomenon and makes it very difficult for the cubs to survive in nature, he noted.

Most recently, an endangered female cheetah, called “Iran”, gave birth to three cubs in captivity, for the first time for the subspecies. The cubs were born at the Touran Wildlife Refuge in Semnan province, on May 1st, by cesarean section.

However, one of the cubs who were weaker lost his life in the early days, and after a while, the second cub also died due to improper care.

Turan National Park is a breeding area and an important habitat for cheetahs, that’s why most casualties were related to this road. Years ago, road crashes killed the species on the Kalmand-Bahadran road, but due to the inexistence of cheetahs in the area, no deaths are recorded anymore.

According to this report, 52 percent of cheetah deaths are related to road crashes.

Fastest mammal endangered

Over the past 60 years, Iran is home to the last known population of Asiatic cheetah, which once roamed across vast ranges of the west and south Asian countries, from West Asia to India. Listed as critically endangered by the IUCN, the Asiatic cheetah is among the rarest cats in the world at the subspecies level, with fewer than 50 believed to remain in Iran.

In Iran, the cheetah is also bound to cultural and social meanings. In 2014, the Iranian national football team announced that their 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2015 AFC Asian Cup kits are imprinted with pictures of the Asiatic cheetah to bring attention to conservation efforts.

In February 2015, Iran launched a search engine, Yooz, that features a cheetah as the logo. And it all shows that cheetahs and Pirouz are now more important than ever — and became part of our Iranian culture and are embedded in our daily life.

Cheetahs’ habitats in Iran are stretching over 12 million hectares of land area and over the past 16 years, only experts collaborating with the Conservation of Asiatic Cheetah Project (CACP project) have strived to count 48 cheetahs using trap cameras and other technical methods.

Roads that are fragmenting cheetahs’ habitats are the main threats to the species, while guard dogs and stray dogs, drought spells, decreasing population of the prey species to support the cheetahs, and habitat loss are also other factors endangering the sparse population of the cheetahs in the country.

  • source : Tehrantimes