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In 1900, cheetahs thrived across Africa and parts of Asia. Today, that picture is vastly different. Africa’s cheetahs occupy a thin slice of their former habitat and number only 6,674. This vulnerable big cat has lost 89 percent of its historic range — and the remaining habitat falls outside of protected areas. The reasons for the crisis include human-wildlife conflict, habitat loss and fragmentation, loss of prey, and a lesser-known threat: the underground pet trade. With its graceful beauty and astonishing speed, the magnificent cheetah has become a status symbol, especially among young, wealthy people — often in Gulf states. Smugglers traffic cheetah cubs to the Middle East most comm... Full story

18 February