Two cheetah cubs stand beside their then ten-year-old mother Msichana at an enclosure at the zoo in Basel September 9, 2009. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo
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Cheetahs are "sprinting" to extinction due to habitat loss and other forms of human impact, according to a new study out this week that called for urgent action to save the world's fastest land animals.Cheetah numbers in Zimbabwe have plunged by more than 85 percent in 16 years and fewer than 50 individuals survive in Iran, the Zoological Society of London and the Wildlife Conservation Society warned in the study.The study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, estimated that just 7,100 cheetahs remain in the wild, occupying just 9 percent of the territory they once lived in.There were an estimated 100,000 cheetahs at the beginning of the 20th century, according to previously published estimates.
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