Year of 2017


051417
Cheetah mother and cub, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

This moment of mother-and-cub tenderness may challenge your perceptions of the cheetah as a speedy death machine of the African savannah. Cheetah cubs are fairly helpless for the first six weeks of their lives, so mom stays close during this crucial time. And if mom needs to leave the cubs behind to hunt for herself, the cubs are protected by a coat of spiky, golden fur, called a mantle, that will help keep them camouflaged in the tall grass while mom’s out. The mantle will give way to the characteristic cheetah spots as the cubs grow and learn to care for themselves.


The cheetah is a large felid of the subfamily Felinae that occurs mainly in eastern and southern Africa and a few parts of Iran. The only extant member of the genus Acinonyx, the cheetah was first described by Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber in 1775. The cheetah is characterised by a slender body, deep chest, spotted coat, a small rounded head, black tear-like streaks on the face, long thin legs and a long spotted tail. Its lightly built, slender form is in sharp contrast with the robust build of the big cats, making it more similar to the cougar. The cheetah reaches nearly 70 to 90 cm at the shoulder, and weighs 21–72 kg. Though taller than the leopard, it is notably smaller than the lion. Basically yellowish tan or rufous to greyish white, the coat is uniformly covered with nearly 2,000 solid black spots.
Speed: 69.59 mph (112 km/h) – 74.56 mph (120 km/h) (In short bursts, Running) · 57.79 mph (93 km/h) (Hunting, Running)
Scientific name: Acinonyx jubatus
Weight: 46.30 pound (21 kg) – 158.73 pound (72 kg) · 0.44 pound (0.20 kg) – 0.66 pound (0.30 kg) (Indoor, Newborn)
Height: 25.98 inch (66 cm) – 37.01 inch (94 cm)
Max speed: 74.56 mph (120 km/h)
Body length: 43.31 inch (110 cm) – 59.06 inch (150 cm) (Head and body)

Cheetah Range

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