Fun Facts - Cheetah
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Cheetah are the fasted land animals in the world
Let's face it, you knew that already. Everything on their bodies is built for speed; with long powerful legs and a light streamline body they can run up to about 60 mph! They can only maintain this speed for a couple of seconds however. They need to be this fast as their prey is almost as quick! There is also very little cover in the savanna so flat out speed is probably the best option.
Cheetah are not huge
They only grow to about 30 inches at the shoulder and weigh approximately 110 pounds. Because of this they will often avoid confrontation with other predators such as lions and hyenas. These other predators will often steal their food, even vultures can take a kill from a cheetah. Because of their size cheetahs do not drag their prey to the floor when hunting; instead they trip their prey and kill with a bite to the neck.
They are mostly solitary animals
Cheetahs live most of their adult life alone but at times, a male will accompany a female for a short while after mating. A cheetah mother brings up the cubs and will teach them to hunt. In this time a mother will need to kill at a rate of about 1 gazelle a day to feed her young. When the cubs are bigger it is known for their mother to bring a small live animal back to her cubs to practice hunting with.
Cheetahs can't roar
But can purr, bleat, hiss, chirp and growl. Seriously, listen to the cheetah in this video! I'm not pulling your leg!
They can not retract their claws
This gives them extra grip on the plains of Africa and is helpful to clasp onto prey when tripping at high speed.
Cheetahs have been kept in captivity since 3000 BC
They were used to hunt game animals and were kept as pets in many cultures.
They are Africa's most threatened big cat
There are less than 10,000 cheetahs left in the wild, making the cheetah Africa’s most endangered big cat. Their numbers have decreased by 30% over the last 18 years. As human populations grow, agriculture, roads, and settlements destroy the open grasslands that cheetahs use to live and hunt, sometimes they are even killed as they will eat livestock.
You can help cheetahs
As cheetah numbers are in decline they will need all the help they can to stay roaming freely in the wild.
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