September 4, 2005 in Nation/World

Endangered Asiatic cheetahs sighted in Iran

Associated Press

TEHRAN, Iran – Two groups of rare Asiatic cheetahs were spotted in central Iran during recent months, raising hopes that one of the world’s fastest moving creatures could be saved from extinction, a conservation official said Saturday.

Iranian wildlife scientists saw four adult cheetahs in August, two months after camera traps revealed a female cheetah with her four cubs resting under the shade of a tree.

Once ranging from the Red Sea to India, the Asiatic cheetah today are hanging on by the thinnest of threads. Fewer than 60 exist on the entire Asian continent, mostly on Iran’s arid central plateau.

Fewer than 10,000 cheetahs are also believed to be still living in Africa, where habitat is vanishing.

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