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National Animal

The Persian Lion



“Love is what gives joy

to all creatures”


Animals commonly seen in the wild

Marine fauna:

Mountain trout, dolphin, sharks, jellyfish, lobsters, sturgeons.


Pheasants, partridges, storks, eagles, falcons, seagulls, ducks, geese.

Land mammals:

Bats, mongooses, jackals, wolves, foxes, leopards, bears, wild boars, deer, gazelles.

Snakes and insects:

Tortoises and turtles, lizards, salamanders, racers, cobras, vipers, geckoes.

Common sights you will not like

In the city and
on the road

Walking dogs in public has been recently banned in Iran due to dogs being "impure" to true Islamists. For this reason many times you will see dogs tied up on leashes or in cages in the streets. Stray dogs are often poisoned and killed. Variety of birds are kept in cages and sold in the markets.

In the

Donkeys and mules are used for transport in the countryside and rural areas.

General animal welfare issues

Iran has no legislation protecting animals and promoting their welfare.

Also, dogs are considered unclean under Islamic principles, hence the strays are commonly shot to death by police or by paid individuals to reduce their population.

Hunting or poaching:

In 2018, Iran banned the hunting of birds within its territory. Common animals hunted are ibex, sheep, mouflons, urials, gazelles, and wild boars. Special permits allow species such as maral stag, roe deer, mid eastern and brown bear, Birds are commonly poached. Also some incidents of poachers that have even killed park rangers in national parks while stealing.

Animal fights:

Animal fights are illegal. However, due to popularity, involvement of money and powerful people, little is done to enforce the law. Animals used for fights include dogs, cocks, rams and raptors.

Main organization for animal rescue and sheltering:

Vafa Animal Shelter SPCA

Sanctuaries to visit or volunteer:


We have not included the treatment of animals in the meat/fur/leather industries, zoos or circuses, animal testing as it unfortunately still happens in most countries.

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