The top 5 importing countries of live cheetahs from South Africa (2010 to 2020) are:
- United States
- United Arab Emirates (UAE)
- Russian Federation
The distribution is quite evenly spread across the globe, although China features as number one again with 125 cheetahs imported over the period of 2010-2020, mainly for zoos and breeding in captivity purposes.
The UAE imported 89 cheetahs not only for zoos and breeding in captivity, but also for medical and personal reasons. The UAE is known as a destination where the keeping of exotic wild animals, such as cheetahs, lions and tigers, became a status symbol. In January 2017, the UAE passed a law to make it illegal for people to keep such wild animals as pets and to use them for breeding and trading.