A critically endangered Saharan cheetah has been spotted for the first time in a decade in the Ahaggar Cultural Park in the city of Tamanrasset, in Algeria’s Hoggar Mountains, local media reported.
The cheetah is also known ‘Amayas’ by the Tuaregs (a nomadic group of people who live across the Sahara Desert, also part of the Berber people), and is included in the red list of animals threatened with extinction.
According to Algeria-based news outlet Algerie Info, the director of the Algerian Cultural Parks Project (PPCA), Salah Amokrane, held a press conference to present scientific research and images of the animal. It was photographed in the Atakor volcanic field, the centre of the mountains.
Amokrane said at the briefing that 50 agents and 40 continuously operating cameras formed part of the 120 day project to capture photos of the animal.
The park said via a Facebook statement that the cheetah should be protected and preserved at all costs.
According to Business Insider India, in 2010 a group of researchers travelling through the Ahaggar Cultural Park were on a mission to find out if the cheetah still existed. During their exploration, they discovered five of the mature animals.
Scientific research website, Science Alert reported that according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature in 2012, there were thought to be around 37 of the animals remaining in Algeria.