9 April 2018
10 Interesting Cheetah Facts

Of all the big cats that are found in the Timbavati, the cheetah is by far the rarest and most endangered. Luke Street has shared 10 fascinating facts about this feline, some you may already know, but some will come as a surprise.

  1. The cheetah is the world’s fastest land mammal. Having once set the record at 112km/h. Although the average full pace speed sits firmly in the 75-100km/h range.
  2. The entire anatomy of this cat is geared towards speed which has lead to the cheetah being one of the most specialised predators on the planet. With a rudder like tail for assistance in turning sharply at full speed and a deep set chest to allow space for massive lungs and heart are just two of these adaptations.
  3. Although cheetah are not considered to be as social as lion, the males do form brotherhood coalitions on occasion. 
  4. Like all of the cats, a cheetah will weigh up the pros and cons of any hunt and will not go full heartedly into a hunt if they sense they stand a higher risk of being injured than being successful. This means they will usually hunt smaller prey than one would think.
  5. These graceful creatures are outstanding stalkers and, contrary to popular belief, they prefer an environment with a small amount of bush cover. This allows them to get within 100m of their prey - an ideal distance from where they can launch their attack. They are also known to brazenly walk towards their prey only to freeze and maintain a low profile every time they are looked at.
  6. Cheetah are known to be fairly picky eaters,. They only eat certain organs and will neatly skim the best parts of meat, discarding the rest along with the skin.
  7. Cheetah have a 50% success rate when it comes to hunting. However, because they lack the power that the other cats posses, these mammals are incredibly susceptible to losing their kills to lions, leopards and hyena.
  8. The cheetah’s lack of physical strength makes them the most vulnerable of all the cats with a mortality rate of up to 70% in certain parts of Africa. Scarily, only 5% of these animals make it to adulthood.
  9. Cheetah are diurnal animals, hunting during the day and so keeping conflict with all the other nocturnal cats to a minimum.
  10. Today, this species is sadly considered one of the most endangered predators on the planet, with as few as around 4,000 remaining in Southern Africa.

 

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