The cheetah is a species racing towards extinction. The wild cat is currently categorised in the “vulnerable” category by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. However, scientists are urging that it be moved to the “endangered” list, as its numbers are dipping dangerously low in the wild.

A short film (above) by filmmaker Walter Stoehr in the traditional San Bushmen language, titled !aouo !a!a wa (The Stumbling Cheetah) aims to motivate people to support the effort to save the cheetah. According to the film, between 6,500 and 7,000 cheetahs are left in the wild today, a very small number.

However, the film doesn’t rely on depressing statistics, dramatic pitches or even cheetahs to promote its message. Instead, the filmmaker explores the mythical origins of the animal, as told by the San Bushmen of Namibia, to add a new dimension to our understanding of the species.