Golden yellowish-tan coats with recognizable black dots, built-in anti-glare tear marks, tiny heads, lean bodies, and long legs are characteristics of graceful Cheetahs.
Cheetahs are descended from the same ancestor as Puma and Jaguarundi, denoting that cheetahs were not historically restricted to the Asian and African continents.
The wild cheetahs of North America and Europe were wiped out by an extinction catastrophe near the end of the last ice age, leaving only Asian and African populations.
Data reflects a substantial shrinkage in their historic range. Today, there are just about 7,000 wild African and <50 Asian cheetahs surviving. The imprisonment of key conservationists dims hopes for the population’s recovery of Asiatic cheetahs.
March 2023: After decades of being declared extinct in India, the successful release of two cheetahs from Namibia has marked the beginning of a new effort to restore the species. As part of the initiative, twelve cheetahs have been transported to India with the hope of re-establishing their population.
Did you know?
- More than 100,000 cheetahs were estimated at the beginning of the 20th century in Africa, the Middle East, and other parts of Asia. The African cheetah is now found primarily in small, fragmented populations limited to six African countries: South Africa, Angola, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Mozambique.
- Asian cheetah is already almost extinct in Asia, with less than 50 individuals left in one remote area of Iran.
- 91% of the cheetah’s historical range has been lost to human encroachment; they are wiped out of more than 38 countries.
- Because of their low population density, cheetahs require conservation areas that are considerably larger, larger than those found in most protected areas.
- In contrast to other predators, cheetahs are mostly active during the day.
- Cheetahs can reach 97 km/h (60 mph) in less than three seconds, which is comparable to a car with more than 5000cc engine, such as the Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4.
- The threat of cheetah extinction in the wild is very real. More than 50% of them may vanish subject to current high levels of threat.
- Cheetahs are listed in Appendix I (no commercial trade), but CITES ignores the fact that trophy hunting is a commercial activity and grants Namibia a yearly quota; it is the only country that allows cheetah trophy hunting.
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Terrestrial / Aquatic
Altricial / Precocial
Polygamous / Monogamous
Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic
Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal
Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd
Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore
Migratory: Yes / No
Domesticated: Yes / No
Dangerous: Yes / No