Aren’t wild animals the most fascinating species on the face of the planet? They are studied and admired by so many, yet remain so mysterious. Take for example, the cheetah. They have been clocked at 50-80 mph. In fact, a cheetah can go from 0 to 60 mph in 3 seconds. No other land animal can beat their time. Yet, they are not long distance runners. They are only good for a short sprint! Here’s an interesting fact: Cheetahs are the only big cats that cannot roar! Instead, they bark when communicating with each other, and can also purr when exhaling and inhaling.
Cheetahs are native to Africa and central Iran. They are carnivores, and are designed for speed with a light build, long legs and a long tail. They have small, round heads, and can be identified easily by their tear-like black streaks on their faces. Their coat is a light, tawny color with black spots. They can be found in the African Serengeti , the mountains of the Sahara, or the hilly deserts of Iran. An adult can weigh from 75 to 125 lbs. and life expectancy on average for males and females combined is 10 to 12 years. Because of territorial conflicts, life expectancy for males is lower at 8 years.
Cheetahs are important to the ecosystem in that they kill sick and older animals of various species by allowing the healthy to survive. However, many times their “kills” are stolen by larger carnivores or predators that hunt in groups.
Females carry their young for 3 months and give birth to 3- 5 cubs. However, the young are highly vulnerable to being eaten by larger predators such as hyenas and lions. Cub mortality can be as high as 90%. Cubs live with their mothers for one and a half to two years. Males live alone or with their littermates.
Cheetahs do have threats to their survival because of habitat loss, poaching, and their high susceptibility to disease. Therefore, we are so fortunate to be able to enjoy these beautiful, graceful runners of the Serengeti. Let’s all buy a Stickertalk sticker of these gorgeous animals to show our support for their survival.