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They are distinguished from other big cats by their smaller size, spotted fur, small heads and ears and their “tear stripes” that go from the corner of the eyes to the side of the nose. It feeds on small- to medium-sized prey, mostly weighing under 40 kg (88 lb), and prefers medium-sized ungulates such as impala, springbok and Thomson's gazelles. The population in East Africa might have derived from a relatively recent recolonization event. Males are slightly taller than females and have slightly bigger heads with wider incisors and longer mandibles. Females can have their first litter at two to three years of age. Gradually the understanding of cheetah ecology increased and their falling numbers became a matter of concern. Most of the Zimbabwean cheetahs live in protected areas today. Although Namibian cheetahs are mostly found outside of protected areas, they also live in Naankuse Wildlife Sanctuary, Namib-Naukluft National Park, and Bwabwata National Park. The Southeast African cheetah usually lives on grasslands, savannahs, scrub forests, and arid environments such as deserts and semidesert steppes. They're so gorgeous <3. For instance, the cheetahs have been reintroduced in around 50 of these South African reserves. The sharp, narrow carnassials are larger than those of leopards and lions, suggesting the cheetah can consume larger amount of food in a given time period.  Reliefs in the Deir el-Bahari temple complex tell of an expedition by Egyptians to the Land of Punt during the reign of Hatshepsut (1507–1458 BC) that fetched, among other things, animals called "panthers". The limbs of the cheetah are longer than what is typical for other cats its size; the thigh muscles are large, and the tibia and fibula are held close together making the lower legs less likely to rotate.  The Mughal ruler Akbar the Great (1556–1605 AD) is said to have kept as many as 1000 khasa (imperial) cheetahs.  The cheetah appears to be less capable of coexisting with humans than the leopard. A day to honour and raise awareness for the ongoing threats that cheetahs are facing on a daily basis. The subspecies is found in various zoos worldwide in America, Africa, Eurasia, and Australia.  Moreover, the species apparently requires a sizeable area to live in as indicated by its low population densities. A cheetah silhouetted against a fiery sunset in Okavango Delta, Botswana. By the late 1880s, the trophy hunters had eliminated the woolly cheetahs; from the number and locality of specimens, this variant seems to have evolved very recently (generations rather than millennia); perhaps all those animals (it seems only a handful are known at best) were the offspring of a single couple born around 1875, or maybe one more generation.  The report, submitted in 2010, suggested that the Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary and Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh and Shahgarh Landscape in Rajasthan had a high potential to support reintroduced cheetah populations due to their broad area and high prey density.  In 2012, an 11-year-old cheetah (named Sarah) from the Cincinnati Zoo set a world record by running 100 m (330 ft) in 5.95 seconds over a set run, recording a maximum speed of 98 km/h (61 mph). Cheetah with three cubs. Authors L Munson 1 , J W Nesbit, D G Meltzer, L P Colly, L Bolton, N P Kriek. The cheetahs would surrender their meals to spotted hyenas. The cheetah is the only extant member of the genus Acinonyx, most notable for modifications in the species' paws. Its survival is also threatened by inbreeding. In most cases, a coalition will consist of brothers born in the same litter who stayed together after weaning, but biologically unrelated males are often allowed into the group; in the Serengeti 30% members in coalitions are unrelated males.  Since 1927 the king cheetah has been reported five more times in the wild in Zimbabwe, Botswana and northern Transvaal; one was photographed in 1975. The Southeast African cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus jubatus) is the nominate cheetah subspecies native to East and Southern Africa. Shortage of prey and conflict with other species such as humans and large carnivores are other major threats.  The gestation can last for 90 to 95 days. The cheetahs are known to be poor breeders in captivity, though several organizations, such as the De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Centre, have succeeded in breeding high numbers of cheetah cubs. , The head is small and more rounded compared to the big cats. O’Brien S. J.  The first known reintroductions were in KwaZulu Natal, Gauteng, Lowveld, Eastern Cape, Western Cape, and Southern Kalahari. The range covered most of eastern and southern Africa, except for the desert region on the western coast of modern-day Angola and Namibia. It was found to be a mutation caused by a recessive gene. In early 1930s, the cheetahs were hunted down and almost went extinct in South Africa. , Hunting cheetahs are known in pre-Islamic Arabic art from Yemen. Ribs are chewed on at the ends, and the limbs are not generally torn apart while eating. , Since 1989, only a few cheetahs had been recorded at the Lower Zambezi National Park, despite the area being apparently suitable habitat for cheetahs. Most habitats consist of wetlands and rivers.  Females typically disperse over large areas in pursuit of prey, but they are less nomadic and roam in a smaller area if prey availability in the area is high. In 1878, a second woolly cheetah was reported as a preserved specimen in the South African Museum. A female can conceive again after 17 to 20 months from giving birth, or even sooner if a whole litter is lost. The cubs might purr as the mother licks them clean after the meal. Taming was an elaborate process and could take a year to complete. Did you know?  A rough translation is "immobile nails", a reference to the cheetah's limited ability to retract its claws. It is the fastest land animal, capable of running at 80 to 128 km/h (50 to 80 mph), and as such has several adaptations for speed, including a light build, long thin legs and a long tail. In October 1994, reintroduction attempts were made with three cheetahs to the Lower Zambezi. About 100 cheetahs live in the country. , Cheetahs are active mainly during the day, whereas other carnivores such as leopards and lions are active mainly at night; These larger carnivores can kill cheetahs and steal their kills; hence, the diurnal tendency of cheetahs helps them avoid larger predators in areas where they are sympatric, such as the Okavango Delta. 7. This significantly sharpens the vision and enables the cheetah to swiftly locate prey against the horizon. , The king cheetah is a variety of cheetah with a rare mutation for cream-coloured fur marked with large, blotchy spots and three dark, wide stripes extending from the neck to the tail.  Moreover, the cheetah is slightly taller than the leopard. After conservation efforts throughout the years, cheetahs have been reintroduced in the eastern, western, and southern parts, and recently in the Free State province of the country.  Botswana contains the second-largest population of cheetahs - in 2007, an estimated population of 1,800.  Cheetahs have a high concentration of nerve cells arranged in a band in the centre of the eyes (a visual streak), the most efficient among felids. Cheetahs typically reach 67–94 cm (26–37 in) at the shoulder, and the head-and-body length is between 1.1 and 1.5 m (3.6 and 4.9 ft). , The cheetah has been widely portrayed in a variety of artistic works.  A 1987 study showed territoriality depended on the size and age of males and the membership of the coalition. A. j. raineyi (Heller, 1913) Fragmented subpopulations of cheetahs are currently increasing in a few hundreds. It’s the fastest land animal in the world, capable of reaching speeds of more than 60 miles per hour in just three seconds.  Listed below are some commonly recorded vocalisations observed in cheetahs: Another major means of communication is by scent—the male will often investigate urine-marked places (territories or common landmarks) for a long time by crouching on his forelegs and carefully smelling the place. In Botswana, the cheetah is protected under the Conserved Animal legislation since 1968, which strictly limits hunting and capture. In 1997, three cheetahs have been reintroduced into the Hlane Royal National Park, the largest (30,000 ha (300 km2)) protected area of Swaziland. Conservation efforts in the 1950s stabilised the population, but prey species declined again in the wake of the Iranian Revolution (1979) and the Iran–Iraq War (1980–1988), leading to a significant contraction of the cheetah's historical range in the region. May R. 1995. Contemporary records are known in South Sudan and Ethiopia, but population status in Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia and Sudan is unknown.  A few centuries ago the cheetah was abundant in India, and its range coincided with the distribution of major prey like the blackbuck. However, Thomas Allsen argues that the depicted animal might be a large dog. 1993.  The Endangered Species Act enlists the cheetah as Endangered. Vagrants have been recorded in Pakistan as well.  The first release of Apple Inc.'s Mac OS X, the Mac OS X 10.0, was code-named "Cheetah"; the subsequent versions released before 2013 were all named after cats.  The Cheetah Conservation Fund, founded in 1990 in Namibia, put efforts into field research and education about cheetahs on the global platform. , Touch and visual cues are other ways of signalling in cheetahs.  The 15 collared resident cheetahs in uMkhuze Game Reserve are seen by visitors during game drives. Commonly found in sub-Saharan Africa, the name "cheetah" comes from a Hindi word meaning "spotted one" or from the Sanskrit word "chitraka". An open area with some cover, such as diffused bushes, is probably ideal for the cheetah because it needs to stalk and pursue its prey over a distance. The sister group of the Puma lineage is a clade of smaller Old World cats that includes the genera Felis, Otocolobus and Prionailurus. In Botswana, cheetahs are frequently captured by ranchers to protect livestock by setting up traps in traditional marking spots; the calls of the trapped cheetah can attract more cheetahs to the place. The female's home range's size can depend on the prey base. After trade of wild cheetahs was delimited by the enforcement of CITES in 1975, more efforts were put into breeding in captivity; in 2014 the number of captive cheetahs worldwide was estimated at around 1730 individuals, with 87% born in captivity. Agonistic sounds: These include bleating, coughing, growling, hissing, meowing and moaning (or yowling). The slightly curved claws, shorter as well as straighter than those of other cats, lack a protective sheath and are partly retractable. The cheetah is threatened by several factors such as habitat loss, conflict with humans, poaching and high susceptibility to diseases. , This article is about the animal.  Moreover, the reduced viscosity of the blood at higher temperatures (common in frequently moving muscles) could ease blood flow and increase oxygen transport.  The ranges of floaters averaged 777 km2 (300 sq mi) in the Serengeti to 1,464 km2 (565 sq mi) in central Namibia. The Northwast African cheetah, A. jubatus hecki, is the rarest of the four subspecies with fewer than 250 mature individual remaining; it occurs in southern Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso and Niger.  A 1987 study showed that solitary and grouped males have a nearly equal chance of coming across females, but the males in coalitions are notably healthier and have better chances of survival than their solitary counterparts.  A 2007 study showed that females who gave birth to more litters early in their life often died younger, indicating a trade-off between longevity and yearly reproductive success. The rampant hunting severely affected the populations of wild animals in India; by 1927, cheetahs had to be imported from Africa.  As of now, the country contains the third-largest population of cheetahs after years of conservation actions and reintroductions into the wild. Further plans exist to reintroduce the cheetah to the Lower Zambezi.  As of July 2014, further plans exist to reintroduce the cheetahs in six more small fenced reserves over the next few years. However, they may live with their mothers, daughters, or sisters on their home ranges. Noting this, palaeontologist Daniel Adams proposed Miracinonyx, a new subgenus under Acinonyx, in 1979 for the North American cheetah-like cats; this was later elevated to genus rank.  With 76% of its range consisting of unprotected land, the cheetah is often targeted by farmers and pastoralists who attempt to protect their livestock, especially in Namibia. Churring (or churtling): A churr is a shrill, staccato call that can last up to two seconds.  Cheetahs are mainly found in the southern to central regions. Its head is small, rounded, and has a short snout and black tear-like facial streaks. The spots on the face are more pronounced, and as a whole its spots seem more dense than those of most other subspecies. It is actually the only extant member of its genus (Acinonyx). , Previously estimated at a population of 4,190 individuals in Southern Africa since 2007, the total population of the Southern cheetah has likely reached over 6,000 individuals, with Namibia having the largest cheetah population worldwide.  The cheetah was the first felid observed to have unusually low genetic variability among individuals, which has led to poor breeding in captivity, increased spermatozoal defects, high juvenile mortality and increased susceptibility to diseases and infections.  Cheetahs move their heads from side to side so the sharp carnassial teeth tear the flesh, which can then be swallowed without chewing. Cheetahs often inspect their vicinity at observation points such as elevations to check for prey or larger carnivores; even while resting, they take turns at keeping a lookout.  Joshua Brookes proposed the generic name Acinonyx in 1828. The coarse, short fur of the cheetah is tan with round black spots, affording it some camouflage while hunting. 11-year-old cheetah breaks land speed record", "Temperature regulation and heat balance in running cheetahs: a strategy for sprinters? , In 1777, Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber described the cheetah based on a skin from the Cape of Good Hope and gave it the scientific name Felis jubatus. In Botswana, the cheetahs are mostly threatened by habitat changes. It diverged genetically from the southeast African cheetah 72,000–16,000 years ago.  The diet of the Asiatic cheetah consists of livestock as well as chinkara, desert hare, goitered gazelle, urial and wild goats; in India cheetahs used to prey mostly on blackbuck. Whether or not they are extinct in Selous Game Reserve is unknown. This may be accompanied by moans, hisses and growls, and hitting the ground with the forepaws.  Prey preferences and hunting success vary with the age, sex and number of cheetahs involved in the hunt and on the vigilance of the prey. Weaning happens at around four months, and cubs are independent by around 20 months of age. cheetah Acinonyx jubatus; cheetah Acinonyx jubatus; cheetah Acinonyx jubatus « ‹ › » ADW Pocket Guides on the iOS App Store! In areas where the cheetah is the major predator (such as farmlands in Botswana and Namibia), activity tends to increase at night. Khutse Game Reserve is also known to contain high abundance of suitable prey base for cheetahs, such as springboks, gemsboks, and wildebeests.  The cheetah appears to have evolved convergently with canids in morphology as well as behaviour; it has canine-like features such as a relatively long snout, long legs, a deep chest, tough paw pads and blunt, semi-retractable claws. A study gave the bite force quotient (BFQ) of the cheetah as 119, close to that for the lion (112), suggesting that adaptations for a lighter skull may not have reduced the power of the cheetah's bite. The Southern cheetah is the most widespread subspecies breeding in captivity around the world, while Sudanese cheetahs are found only in a few European and Middle Eastern zoos and wildlife centers. , After a gestation of nearly three months, a litter of one to eight cubs is born (though those of three to four cubs are more common).
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