Cheetahs – The New Luxury Pet in the Middle East

Owning cheetahs - a status symbol in the Middle East

Owning a cheetah has become a status symbol in the Middle East, according to the Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), who warns their popularity as a “hot new luxury pet” is putting wild cheetah populations at greater risk – and possibly extinction.

People are paying as much as $10,000 for cubs. There has also been an increasing demand for cheetah-skin shoes.

Many of these cheetah “pets” have been illegally smuggled into the country from Somalia. Up to 70% of the cubs die before reaching the Middle East.

There are currently less than 10,000 cheetahs living in the wild – a 90% decline in population over the past 100 years.

Extinction fears rise as cheetah becomes new luxury pet in Middle East” (Delhi Daily News)
Cheetah smuggling driving wild population to extinction, report says” (The Guardian)



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3 years 2 months ago
Cheetahs are my favorite big cat! Honestly, what part of ‘wild animal’ don’t people understand?! If they had seen what I saw on safari- that male cheetah, ugh, couldn’t have been older than 3 or 4- was relaxing peacefully in the shade of a tree, and boy, his stomach looked huge. He got up at one point and walked a little, possibly spotting the wildebeest herd we had seen earlier, but after moving about a foot he fell right back down and took a nap. He was so precious! I don’t think people understand what they put these ‘pets’ through.… Read more »