This content was published on May 01, 2022 – 10:22
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 leopard cubs were born in good health by Caesarean section” in the Turan Wildlife Sanctuary in Semnan Province, east of Tehran, the official IRNA news agency quoted Ali Salajeh, head of Iran’s Environment Department, as saying.
“Since this is the first birth of a captive Asiatic cheetah, we can increase leopard numbers by keeping the cubs,” he added.
“Primary veterinary care has been provided, the mother and the puppies are now in normal health but they are still in intensive care,” he said.
According to him, so far less than 20 Asian cheetahs have been seen in various Iranian provinces where the animal lives.
In January, Iran’s deputy environment minister, Hassan Akbari, stated that the country was home to only dozens of Asian leopards, down from about 100 in 2010.
The cheetah is the fastest land animal in the world, capable of reaching a speed of 12 km per hour. It has previously ranged from eastern India to the Atlantic coast of Senegal and beyond.
It is still found in parts of South Africa, but has virtually disappeared from North Africa and Asia.
Iran is one of the last countries in the world where Asian leopards live in the wild, and in 2001 it started a protection program with the support of the United Nations.
The subspecies ‘Acinonyx jubatus venaticus’, better known as the Asiatic leopard, is critically threatened, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
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