Acinonyx jubatus venaticus
The Indian Cheetah, or Asiatic cheetah, became extinct in India in 1948. It lives on in Iran, but is critically endangered. It is estimated that less than 100 Indian cheetahs remain in the wild.
The Indian cheetah differs from its African cousin in a number of ways. It is:
20% Smaller, at a weight of around 30-50kg
Paler, taking on more even honey colour
More domesticated looking. It had a face more similar to a house cat.
The Indian cheetah was partly domesticated and used by British hunters to help catch antelope. There are no known instances of an Indian cheetah killing a human.
The Indian cheetah lived in open semi-desert areas where prey was available.
The Indian cheetah used to live throughout North and central India. This includes Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, among others.
The Indian cheetah was kept by Indian princes and kings since the 1500s. Many were trapped to keep up the numbers required by the royalty. They were prized for hunting.
During the British colonial rule of India, the trappings increased, as British hunters also saw their value as a hunting aid.
Due to the difficulty in breeding captive cheetahs, the constant trapping had a disasterous effect on the population. The last known sighting of an Indian cheetah in India was of 3 at once in 1947 in the former Surguja State. All 3 were shot.