It was once believed that the cheetah brings the spirit faster to the afterlife

Hunting Leopard

1000s of cheetahs got captured and trained to hunt or tamed to keep them as pets. Because reproduction in captivity has always been a problem and the ability to hunt was better anyway with animals which grew up in the wild, more and more cheetahs got captured.

Hunting with cheetahs wasn’t for the purpose of catching food but for a fun activity in high society. Cheetah trappers, dealers, and probably tamers as well must have been highly recognized jobs and pretty well paid. There are notes about an Indian Mogul who possessed about 30 thousand cheetahs during his 49 year regime. This is by far more cheetahs than you can find in the wild today.


Of course there were lots of other reasons to catch or kill a cheetah. In ancient Egypt a pet would be buried with his owner to stay his companion. With a cheetah as a pet the spirit could be brought much faster to the afterlife so was told.

Kings were wearing the fur to show dignity as it was not cheap to get one. Not to forget the ethnic groups who believed that their mind and body would get faster, and wounds and illness would cease quicker by eating cheetah meat.

ICS-cheetah on hill

And now? Beside all the hunting, the cheetah was mostly loved and honored in history with men and it is very sad to see how negative that was for the population.

Since 1975 the cheetah is named as endangered on the red list of the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources). The 2 subspecies Acynonyx jubatus heckii in the North-West of Africa and Acinonyx jubatus venaticus in Iran are classified as critically endangered. Many organisations advocate to safe the cheetah and thanks to those people there is hope to read one day that the number of cheetahs is going up again.