One of the last Asian cheetahs in the world died on Tuesday in Iran. His disappearance caused a wave of sadness among Iranians, who had fallen in love with this young feline born in captivity in 2022.
The cheetah, baptized Pirouz (“victorious” in Persian), was admitted to the veterinary hospital on Thursday for kidney failure. He finally died after undergoing dialysis, according to the official Irna agency. “We are very saddened by the loss of Pirouz and the failure of all efforts to save him,” responded the head of the hospital.
A highly endangered species
The young Pirouz had become a national pride from his birth in May 2022 in a refuge in the east of the country. The event was hailed: there would indeed remain in Iran only a dozen Asian cheetahs, a species in critical danger of extinction according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
As soon as he was hospitalized, many Internet users expressed their emotion and their fear of a definitive extinction of the species on social networks. Many Iranians said they were “praying” for the beloved young cat’s survival.
The cheetah is the fastest animal in the world and can reach a speed of 120 km/h. It is still found in parts of southern Africa, but has virtually disappeared from North Africa and Asia. Iran, one of the last countries in the world where Asian cheetahs live in the wild, launched a United Nations-backed conservation program in 2001.