Iranian Environment Officials Say Cheetah Poachers Deserve Harsher Punishment

A court in Tehran has found three men guilty of violating Article 13 of the Hunting and Trapping law by capturing, smuggling and selling an eight-month-old endangered Asian cheetah cub, and has ordered the defendants to pay $233 and $466 in fines for each offense. The judge, however, has not sentenced the three men to imprisonment.

The Iranian Department of Environment has described the court ruling as “too lenient” and has vowed to file criminal charges against the three defendants. The three wildlife poachers captured the cheetah cub in an eastern province but kept the animal in a cage in Karaj, a suburb of Tehran, before selling it for $4,700.

Masumeh Hosseinpour, the head of the Environment Department’s office for legal affairs, told the Iran Environment and Wildlife online news website: “The Department of Wildlife Refuge has informed us in a letter that the cheetah cub in question cannot survive in the wild any longer because he has been separated from his mother.”

Translated from Persian by Fardine Hamidi