Cheetah

SPECIES PROFILE

Name: the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) is a large, athletic cat – although not one of the five ‘big cats’ – that is closely related to the puma.

Appearance: cheetahs have yellow to greyish white coats covered with up to 2,000 black spots. They have slender bodies; small, round heads; and long, thin legs and tails.

Size: they can reach up to 0.9 metres tall at the shoulder, and weigh around 20 to 70 kg.

Diet: cheetahs are mainly active during the day when they spend much of their time hunting. They are carnivores preying mainly on antelopes. Cheetahs stalk their prey untill they are within around 100 metres then chase after them at great speed. During the chase they try to knock their prey over and bite their throat to suffocate them if they fall.

Did you know: cheetahs are the fastest land animal in the world. During a chase they can accelarate to an incredible 112 km per hour – although they can only maintain this speed for a few hundred metres. Thanks to their hunting prowess they were tamed in Egypt in the 16th Century BC to help people hunt game. Their close relationship with people has meant they have been widely depicted in art, literature, advertising, and animations. Sadly these amazing animals are now classified by the IUCN as being vulnerable to extinction.

Location: they live in dry forests and savannahs in North, Southern, and East Africa – with a few populations also found in Iran.

Where TO SEE cheetahs

According to reports submitted to WildSide, you can see cheetahs at the following places:

Place Chance to see User rating No. reports
Kruger
South Africa
100%
very high
5.0
very good
1
reports
Tsavo
Kenya
100%
very high
5.0
very good
1
reports
Samburu
Kenya
100%
very high
3.0
good
1
reports
Maasai Mara
Kenya
80%
very high
5.0
very good
5
reports
Amboseli
Kenya
50%
average
5.0
very good
2
reports

Photo credit: sharonjoy17 under a Creative Commons licence from Pixabay 

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