Iranians are mourning the last surviving Asiatic cheetah cub born in captivity in the country after it died on February 28.
"Pirouz, who was admitted to the Central Veterinary Hospital due to kidney failure last Thursday, died after undergoing dialysis," the official IRNA news agency reported.
"The loss of Pirouz and ineffectiveness of all the efforts made by the treatment team in the past few days to save the animal saddens me and all my colleagues,” hospital director Omid Moradi said.
“We apologize to everyone that we could not keep this animal alive," he told IRNA.
Videos of the team performing "peritoneal dialysis" on Pirouz were released late on February 27, contradicting earlier reports that dialysis machines for animals were not available in Iran.
Pirouz's death has caused sadness and outrage in Iran, with many social media users blaming the inefficiency of the authorities.
Some Iranians have linked the death to the arrest of environmentalists such as Kavos Seyed Emami, who has worked to protect the critically endangered animal.
“Shame on the Islamic Republic for imprisoning conservationists instead of rewarding them for their crucial work,” Iranian-British actress and activist Nazanin Boniadi tweeted.
Pirouz had become a symbol of the oppression of Iranians by the Islamic Republic after its inclusion in the song "For..." by Shervin Hajipour, the unofficial anthem of the "Woman, Life, Freedom" protest movement that has swept Iran for more than five months.
Pirouz, whose name means "victorious" in Persian, was born in May 2022 at a wildlife refuge in northeastern Iran. Two other cubs born with him died that same month.
The Asiatic cheetah is considered one of the most endangered big cats in the world. According to a 2017 study, the sub-species is confined only to Iran where there were less than 50 mature were surviving.
In response to the dwindling population, Iran began a United Nations-supported cheetah protection program in 2001. However, the number of Asiatic cheetahs in the country has continued to decline over the years.
Pirouz's birth in captivity was seen as a glimmer of hope for the sub-species' survival, but its death is a tragic reminder of the challenges faced by conservationists.
I'm so sorry Pirouz died. Cats die of kidney failure 85% of the time. It turns out that my approach to kidney failure in humans also works in cats (and dogs). I suspect it would have worked in Pirouz. Unfortunately, my 2002 paper received no media attention (1). If it had, I suspect Dr Omid Moradi would have trie d it with Pirouz, and I'm confident it would have worked. Anybody worried about kidney disease in themselves or their pet is welcome to contact GenoMed.com
(1) https://www.bmj.com/content/363/bmj.k4303/rr ... read more