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Acinonyx jubatus (Schreber, 1775)

Open woodland savanna and plains with little thickets, are the ideal conditions for Cheetahs.
Although more sociable than Leopards, adult Cheetahs are solitary animals.
Cheetahs are the fastest quadrupeds, reaching speeds of more than 100 kilometers per hour, in short bursts.
They normally hunt in early morning and late afternoon. Adaptations for high speed chase are a very large chest, small waist and a very long and somewhat flattened tail that the animal use as a "ruder" on tight turns at high speed.
Their claws are not retractable. At a kill Cheetahs tend to eat as quick as they can, always on the alert for other carnivores, to whom they very often loose their prey.
A genetic variant occurs in which the spots are larger and, the ones on the back are grouped in stripes. The animal is called "King Cheetah".
Cheetahs live for about 15 years and can attain a mass of about 60 Kg.

Young Cheetah
Wildlife Picture taken at Sabi Sabi Private game Reserve
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Last revised: July 10, 2005.
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