I'm not sure if you noticed, but I love cheetahs. They are a beautiful, majestic creature more spectacular than any fictional unicorn could ever be.
Yes. I just admitted that unicorns don't exist. That is how much I love cheetahs.
They are the fastest land mammal and have incredible movements, but there is even more to this creature that might be overlooked if you do not spend all of your free time researching cheetahs.
I'm assuming you spend your free time occupied in other ways.
But I'm here to fill in the blanks!
Let's take a look at how they're built!
Most of these attributes endow the cheetah with its famous speed. However, the cheetah can only run roughly 500 feet at its popularized rate of 70 mph. What is impressive about this speed is that it takes mere seconds for the cheetah to reach its full capacity. It is because the cheetah exhausts so quickly after it reaches 70 mph that it loses most of its prey to its own fatigue.
Right now the fastest cheetah in the world is Sarah, a member of the Cincinnati Zoo Community. In September 2009 she broke this world record twice in one day by running 100 meters in 6.16 and 6.13 seconds respectively.
But keep in mind Sarah is a captive cheetah and there are those in the wild whose survival depends on their high acceleration. Sarah might be the best on record, but there might be cheetahs faster than her!
Now, let's talk about everyone's favorite type of animal: the babies! Cheetah cubs are completely blind at birth, but within roughly 4-10 days their eyes open. Baby cheetahs have cute, big tufts of fur on their necks and down their backs to make them look like honey badgers to any animals that might otherwise view them as prey.
As for hunting, cheetahs prefer the daylight. While we think of most cats as nocturnal, cheetahs are diurnal. They usually hunt in the early mornings or in the late afternoon when the sun is out and the temperatures are cool. That's why if they chose to hunt at night, they would need some infrared goggles.
The Indian Mogul, Akbar the Great, owned over 9,000 cheetahs in his lifetime! Akbar loved his cheetahs and kept detailed records of them. He referred to them as Imperial Cheetahs.
Between 1900 and now the population has shrunk by roughly 86,000 and they have essentially disappeared from 44 countries, including Israel and India. Today, the cheetah's largest habitat is Namibia, Africa.
To learn more about cheetahs and see adorable, real pictures of them, or to make a donation and further the efforts of those dedicating their lives to saving them, visit http://www.cheetah.org. The Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) works on reintroducing cheetahs into the wild, housing cheetahs in captivity, educating Namibian farmers, and using the Guarding Dog program to protect livestock from predators which minimizes the conflict between farmers and predators. It was founded in 1990 by Laurie Marker who has worked with cheetahs since 1974, making them her number one priority.
Other great programs include Big Cat Rescue and the Cincinnati Zoo. They each have WONDERFUL youtube channels and are making great strides to ensure these animals live in luxury.