It is a great loss for the species: A Asiatic cheetah born in captivity in Iran has died of kidney failure at the age of 10 months. Even a last emergency operation did not help the animal named Pirouz. The cheetah subspecies is threatened with extinction, only a few specimens still live in the wild in the country. The Iranian authorities assume about twelve animals.
Pirouz was a small star because he was one of the last of his kind to become well known, and many people worried about the animal's health until the very end.
Pirouz was born last year in a zoo in Semnan province with two other cheetahs by caesarean section. The mother rejected her boys afterwards, Pirouz siblings died just days after birth. He himself was raised by animal keepers. But according to media reports, the first health problems soon arose. Most recently, his enclosure in a wildlife park in Tehran remained orphaned, instead Pirouz was treated in an animal clinic for his kidney disease. He did not survive an emergency operation performed on Monday.
In addition to the great participation, there was also a lot of criticism on social media. "Learn from this bitter experience," wrote one environmental activist on Twitter. The criticism was directed at the authorities, which many users accused of failure.
Iranian environmental and animal rights activists have been warning of their extinction for years. A UN project is also committed to preserving the species. Numerous environmental activists in Iran have been sentenced to long prison terms for their political activities in the past.