A female Asian leopard has given birth to three cubs in Iran, in the first captive birth of this endangered cat species, the official agency said on Sunday.
“Three cheetah cubs were born in good health by Caesarean section” in the Turan Wildlife Sanctuary in Semanan Province, east of Tehran, the official IRNA news agency quoted the head of Iran’s Environment Department, Ali Salagheh, as saying.
“Since this is the first birth of an Asian leopard in captivity, leopard numbers can be increased by keeping the cubs,” he added.
“Primary veterinary care has been provided and the condition of the mother and infant is now normal, but they are still in intensive care,” the official said.
According to him, so far less than 20 Asian cheetahs have been spotted in various Iranian provinces where the animal lives.
In January, Iran’s deputy environment minister said the country had only a dozen Asiatic cheetahs, also known as Iranian cheetahs.
The cheetah is the fastest animal in the world capable of reaching a speed of 120 km / h. This feline once roamed from eastern India to the Atlantic coast of Senegal and beyond. They are still found in parts of South Africa, but have almost disappeared from North Africa and Asia.
The subspecies “Acinonyx jubatus venaticus,” better known as the Asiatic leopard, is threatened with extinction, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Iran, one of the last countries in the world where Asian leopards live in the wild, launched a conservation program with the support of the United Nations in 2001. In 2014, the Iranian football team wore an image of a leopard on the World Cup shirts.
“Extreme twitteraholic. Passionate travel nerd. Hardcore zombie trailblazer. Web fanatic. Evil bacon geek.”