Two cheetah cubs stand beside their mother in a protected enclosure in Basel, Switzerland.
Two cheetah cubs stand beside their mother in a protected enclosure in Basel, Switzerland.

The world's fastest land animal is racing towards extinction according to a study by the National Academy of Sciences.

There are currently 7,000 cheetahs left on the planet.

That's down from more than 100,000 at the end of the 19th century.

Over 77 percent of those remaining live in unprotected areas, which makes them especially vulnerable to the impact of humans.

That includes habitat loss due to development and cheetahs being sold as exotic pets.

The study calls for the big cats to now be considered as an endangered species.

Dr Sarah Durant from the Rangewide Conservation Programme says the animals need more than just protected space.

Source: TRT World