updated 12:04 PM EST, Tue July 29, 2014

"My brain was with humans, but my heart was with the cheetahs. I decided that I had to go with the cheetahs."

Ever heard of the Asiatic cheetah? Not many people have. Its feline form will soon feature on the jerseys of Iran’s football team at this year’s World Cup … just one in a line of new efforts to help save the endangered cats.

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