The cheetah is a carnivorous mammal of the feline family, also known as the cheetah. [16] The chest is deep and the waist is thin and narrow. The rough short hair is light yellow with black round spots; The abdomen is white with no spots, but the tail has markings, with a total of four to six black circles around the tip. Males are larger than females. [17] The lifespan is generally 6.9 years. [18]

Cheetahs mainly live in Africa and West Asia. [16] In Namibia, there is a diversity of habitats, including grasslands, sparse tree grasslands, densely vegetated areas, and mountainous areas. [19] Feed on small and medium-sized ungulates such as antelopes and small horned horses. [20] Living alone or gathering in small families. [21] Females reproduce once every 17-20 months, with a pregnancy period of 90-95 days and giving birth to 1-8 offspring per litter. [20]

Cheetahs are the fastest hunters in Africa. [17] Not only does it represent rebirth and lifelong protection, but it also symbolizes the power hidden in darkness. In the early 19th century, the number of African cheetahs was nearly 100000; As of the 1980s, the population was only 2500; With the strengthening of conservation and management in recent years, the number of African cheetahs has increased to around 10000. In 1990, the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) was established to sponsor and promote research and education on cheetah conservation in Africa. [23] Listed in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

Naming History

The genus name "Acinonyx" of cheetahs comes from Greek, meaning "immobile claws". Cheetahs have claws that cannot retract, making them the only species in the feline family that cannot retract their claws. They can increase their attacking power during hunting, and the rough meat pads on the soles of their feet can increase their grip during running. Their longer tails can maintain balance during running compared to ordinary felines. The word "jubatus" is derived from the Latin word "iuba", which means "horse's mane" and refers to the long hair of a cheetah cub. [10]

The term cheetah in major European languages originates from the Latin word "gattus pardus" and is interpreted as "a cat like leopard", such as "gu é pard" in French, "ghepardo" in Italian, "guepardo" in Spanish, "guepardo (and chita)" in Portuguese, and "Gepard" in German. The English word "cheetah" comes from the Hindi word "chita" or possibly from the Sanskrit word "chitraka", meaning "spotted.". [3] [9]

history of evolution

The Paris Museum of Natural History houses a fossil of a giant cheetah. This is an extinct ancient cheetah species closely related to modern cheetahs, with a shoulder height equivalent to that of an African lion. Giant cheetahs live in Europe and are approximately twice the size of modern cheetahs.

The evolution and history of cheetahs are as remarkable and interesting as the species themselves. The evolution of this species can be traced back nearly 7 million years, spanning almost all continents on Earth. The history of its interaction with humans can be traced back to 32000 BC. Throughout thousands of years of human history, the cheetah has been a symbol of significant importance in different civilizations and cultures. In contemporary times, cheetahs are still considered a spiritual animal, symbolizing various positive traits such as adaptability, perseverance, and focus. [8]

Although many people may believe that cheetahs originated on the African continent, the oldest fossil of North American cheetahs is found in Texas, Nevada, and Wyoming in the United States. Cheetahs were common in Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America until the end of the last ice age approximately 10000 years ago, when massive climate change led to the disappearance of a large number of mammals. [8]

Which type of feline animal is most closely related to the cheetah? Considering their very similar appearance, it is easy to believe that among large felines, the leopard is the closest to the cheetah. However, cheetahs are actually most closely related to Puma concolor and Herpalurus yagouarondi, which roam in South and Central America, and even North America. These three species together constitute the Puma lineage, which is one of the eight lineages of the feline family.

The evolution of feline animals began approximately 25 million years ago. Over time, the ancestors of the feline family gradually evolved into eight main lineages, each representing the most relevant subset of genes in the feline family. [8]

Genetic history

The three species of the Puma lineage (PUMA) may have had a common ancestor during the Miocene (approximately 8.25 million years ago). Some people believe that North American cheetahs may have migrated to Asia through the Bering Strait and then spread southward to Africa through the Eurasian continent at least 100000 years ago; Some researchers are skeptical about the appearance of cats like cheetahs in North America, and instead assume that modern cheetahs evolved from Asian populations that eventually spread to Africa. Cheetahs are believed to have experienced two population bottlenecks, greatly reducing the genetic variability of the population; The first occurred approximately 100000 years ago, related to migration from North America to Asia, and the second occurred in Africa 10000 to 12000 years ago, possibly as part of the Late Pleistocene extinction event. [11]

Low genetic diversity is believed to be caused by bottlenecks in two populations approximately 100000 and 12000 years ago. The resulting genetic variation level is about 0.1-4% of the average biological species, lower than that of Tasmanian badgers, wild gorillas, Siberian tigers, and even highly inbred domestic cats and dogs. [12]

In the previous ice age, the number of cheetahs in the world plummeted to a minority. This event resulted in an extreme reduction in genetic diversity of cheetahs, known as population bottlenecks, leading to physical homogeneity in the current population of the species. Cheetahs are so genetically similar that in experiments, reciprocal skin grafts from unrelated cheetahs were accepted by the immune system of another cheetah due to the animals having similar major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genotypes. [7]

Researchers have found that an appropriate level of genetic diversity is crucial for the ability of any population to adapt to and overcome environmental changes and unexpected disasters. Unsustainable human expansion and irresponsible consumption will put pressure on global ecosystems. Population studies have shown that when habitats are destroyed and populations become fragmented and isolated, inbreeding rates increase and genetic diversity decreases. Physiological defects, such as poor sperm quality, local palatal erosion, susceptibility to infectious diseases and tail kink, are the result of low genetic diversity of wild and captive cheetah populations.

History of Civilization

The relationship between cheetahs and humans can be traced back thousands of years, and archaeological artifacts discovered around the world indicate that human interaction with this species is closely related to its migration and evolution. The relationship between cheetahs and humans is both profound and complex, as this species has been respected, domesticated, exhibited, and utilized throughout human history. [8]

In 1700 BC, the Egyptians were the first to tame cheetahs. They admire cheetahs for their speed, hunting ability, and beauty. They regard the cheetah as a symbol of royalty and prestige. The fastest animal on Earth has become a cherished hunting companion for the royal families of Europe, Asia, and India. Until the early 1900s, for these nobles, the importance of owning a cheetah was as important as their love for gold. Cheetahs hunt visually, so they perform well in sports known as hunting. The hunting organized by the royal and noble families is for challenging sports, not for food. Hunting represents power and prestige. [8]

By the 1500s, the popularity of cheetahs as hunting companions had become comparable to that of dogs. Cheetahs are the easiest to tame large feline animals, they are captured, tamed, and trained. The use of adult cheetahs is because the cubs have not yet learned how to hunt. The tamed cheetah established a strong connection with its breeders. Each cheetah rides a horse or car to hunt. It has hooded eyes that will be exposed when it sees prey. This cheetah was released to pursue its prey and then fed with a wooden spoon as a reward. Although cherished, the beloved cheetah is almost on the brink of extinction and has been caught in large numbers from the wild. By the early 1900s, India and Iran were importing African cheetahs for "chase" sports because their own wild populations had become too small.

Body posture

Cheetahs have a body length of 112-150 centimeters, a tail length of 60-80 centimeters, and a shoulder height of 67-94 centimeters; Weight 21-72 kilograms. Cheetahs are a species of hermaphrodite, but it is difficult to determine their gender solely based on their appearance. Male cheetahs are slightly larger than females and have larger heads, but they do not exhibit the same degree of physical differences in gender as other large feline animals such as lions. The skull of a cheetah is short and wide, with a highly raised and arched forehead above the muzzle and skull. The nostrils are wide and enlarged, and the bone plates extend well behind the molars. Compared to other feline animals, the nasal cavity is large and can increase oxygen intake. The lungs and heart of cheetahs are connected to the circulatory system, which has powerful arteries and adrenal glands that work together to effectively circulate oxygen through the bloodstream. Cheetah teeth are very sharp, but compared to other large feline animals, cheetah teeth are smaller. [5]

Compared to other feline animals, cheetahs have long legs and a very slender body, which is completely different from all other feline animals. The head is small and round, the ears are short, and both adult leopards and cubs have round pupils when their eyes contract and relax. The hair on the back of the neck is relatively long, like a short mane. Because cheetahs have a streamlined body shape, they appear very light when starting out. The spine is very soft and prone to bending, like a large spring. When running, both the forelimbs and hindlimbs exert force, and the body fluctuates in the middle of the run; When making sharp turns, the big tail can provide balance and prevent falling. The special structure of the body makes cheetahs run extremely fast. [5]

The cheetah's scapula is not attached to the collarbone, so the shoulders can move freely. When the body is fully extended, the hips pivot to allow the hind legs to extend further. The extension of the hips and shoulders allows for extensive stretching during running, giving it an extraordinary stride. The length between their steps is 6-7 meters, completing 4 steps per second. When the cheetah's body is completely off the ground, there are two steps in one step: one is when all four legs are extended, and the other is when all four legs are curled up under the body. [5]

Feet claws

Compared to other feline animals such as cheetahs, their claws are very narrow. The front paw has four toes and one pointed paw, while the back paw has four toes. The claws slightly bend and become dull due to contact with the ground, as the cheetah's claws have weak elasticity and lack protective skin folds. Cheetah's claws are short and blunt, and cannot contract, which helps it grip the ground while running. Its paws are not as round as those of other feline animals, and its harder fleshy palms resemble tire patterns, helping them to turn quickly at high speeds. Provide greater traction during fast and sharp turns. Short and blunt claws are considered to be semi retractable, closer to dog claws than other cats. The function of claws is similar to the anti slip nails of track shoes, which can grip the ground while running to provide traction and help improve speed. [7]


The flexibility of the cheetah's spine is very good. Their long and muscular tails act like a rudder, stabilizing and balancing their weight. Swinging the tail back and forth continuously adapts to the movement of the prey, allowing for sudden sharp turns during high-speed pursuit.

Habitat environment



In Africa, cheetahs are distributed in various habitats and ecological areas, from dry forests and dense shrubs to grasslands and extremely arid deserts, such as the Sahara Desert. They only exist in tropical and mountain forests and do not exist, although there are reports of cheetahs at an altitude of 4000 meters in Kenya's mountains. In Iran, cheetah habitats are composed of deserts, with most areas receiving less than 100 millimeters of annual precipitation. There, cheetahs were found in terrain ranging from plains and salt fields to eroded foothills, as well as rugged desert mountain ranges with elevations of up to 2000-3000 meters, which are no different from mountain ranges. Compared to other carnivorous animals, cheetahs seem to exhibit relatively low habitat selectivity. [3]

Living habits




Territory males mark the areas they defend with urine. In addition, males also mark their territory by raking the ground with their hind paws, grabbing trees, crushing grass, or depositing feces on prominent terrain. Territory males have never been classified as teenagers. Resident males do indeed leave their territory in a short period of time (within a few days), probably to search for seasonal females outside their territory. Male leagues typically protect their territory from other males to facilitate access to females and prey, and typically persist throughout the life of individuals in the alliance. Although uncommon, unrelated males are occasionally accepted into existing related male populations. Alliance partners with blood ties are very tolerant of close contact. Without physical contact or mutual grooming, they spend most of their time within a few meters of other members. Unrelated alliance members often endure aggression. If non affiliated members join, the game between affiliated members may become violent. Non affiliated members will also abandon most of the physical contact they participate in. After a period of time, unrelated members in the alliance will no longer be as aggressive as they were at the beginning. In territorial conflicts between male leagues, group size has the greatest impact on the outcome. This is reflected in the long-term tenure of larger alliances in highly competitive fields. Single males rarely have territories near the alliance. [5]

The population density of cheetahs varies from 1 cheetah per 20 square kilometers to 1 cheetah per 100 square kilometers. According to reports, some households range from 50 to 130 square kilometers. Cheetahs can live alone or in small groups. These groups include the mother and her cubs, several related adult males, or the male and female brothers and sisters who separated from their mother shortly before the female became estrous. Females use various exercise modes within their range, ranging from a single long-distance trip to staying in general areas for several days. Although the range of individual females overlaps, they do not socialize. If females notice each other, they will sit 2 kilometers apart and observe the other until one eventually walks away. This behavior is also common in other female feline animals, except for domestic cats and lions. Females do not defend their territory, even though they use urination or defecation as scent markers. However, the presence of offspring can alter the female's movements based on their age. [5]


Cheetahs have a relatively regular life, usually working at sunrise and sunset

Breath. It usually starts going out to search for food around 5 o'clock in the morning. When it walks, it is more alert and occasionally stops to look around to see if there are any prey to prey on. Additionally, it also prevents other predators from preying on it. It usually takes a nap during the afternoon break, and every 6 minutes it wakes up to check and see if there are any dangers around it. Generally speaking, cheetahs only hunt one prey at a time and walk a distance of about five kilometers per day, with a maximum distance of over ten kilometers. Although it is good at running, its walking distance is not far.

Although cheetahs can achieve astonishing speed, they cannot maintain high-speed pursuit for a long time. They must capture prey within 30 seconds or less, as they cannot maintain maximum speed for extended periods of time. Cheetahs spend most of their time sleeping, and during the hottest hours of the day, they have the least activity. They prefer cool places and sleep under the shade of big trees. Cheetahs do not hunt at night, they are most active in the morning and evening. [7]


As female cheetahs mature sexually, they will detach from the group and live a largely independent life. The male brothers stayed together for the rest of their lives, forming a group called the Alliance. The alliance has increased the success rate of hunting and serves as a defense against other predators. [7]

When young cheetahs grow up and group together, males will wander around until they find and defend their territory. This process may take several years, and males may travel hundreds of kilometers to transfer from one region to another, driven by more experienced male alliances. In the end, this group of cheetahs will find a place to settle down. This will become the territory of the alliance, possibly spanning 40-80 square kilometers. [7]

Cheetahs that became orphans when young, and cheetahs that enter a state of recovery, can pair with unrelated individuals to form alliances. When these cheetahs are released back into the wild, the alliance they create typically remains intact throughout the individual's entire life. [7]


The cheetah is the fastest animal in the world to run on land, with a speed of up to 115 kilometers per hour. If the human sprint world champion competed with the cheetah in a 100 meter race, the cheetah could have the world champion run 60 meters first, and the cheetah would have reached the finish line, not the sprint world champion. [5]

However, it should be noted that since cheetahs run so fast, it is a test for their entire respiratory and circulatory systems. When it reaches a running speed of over 115 kilometers, its respiratory and circulatory systems are operating at an overload. Due to the cheetah's inability to immediately dissipate its accumulated heat, it is prone to symptoms of fatigue, so cheetahs can generally only sprint a few hundred meters before slowing down. Otherwise, its body will overheat and then collapse will occur. So this kind of running is very damaging to vitality. Sometimes it's the cheetah catching the prey because it ran too fast just now, so it can't eat at that time. It must rest or catch its breath before it can start eating.


Unlike other large feline animals, this classification includes lions, tigers, leopards, and jaguars, which roar when in danger. Cheetahs cannot roar. Their sound is more like a sharp chirp or bubble, and they bark when communicating with each other. Cheetahs also make a snoring sound when inhaling and exhaling. Although not common, when members of the male alliance separate, they will continue to make up to 20 minutes of vocal calls (described as "yipps" and "churs") until they reunite with their partners. Females also call out to their cubs to find their location, especially when they wander out of their hidden nests. [7]


Cheetahs are visual hunters. Unlike other large feline animals, cheetahs are active day and night, which means they hunt in the morning and evening. Cheetahs climb game trees or termite mounds to obtain the best advantageous position for discovering prey on the horizon. Hunting has several components. It includes prey detection, tracking, chasing, tripping (or capturing prey), and suffocation by biting the throat. [7]

Cheetahs are carnivorous animals that sneak up to a distance of 10 to 30 meters from their prey, and then hunt the prey. When hunting, their maximum speed can reach 120 kilometers per hour, and they only land on one foot, but they can only run for up to 3 minutes. When this exceeds, their physiological structure requires cheetahs to slow down, otherwise they will die from overheating. Usually, prey can be caught within 1 minute. If the cheetah fails to hunt, it will be a waste of energy. Roughly only one out of six hunting attempts will be successful. After catching prey, cheetahs can continue to bite on the neck of the prey with their mouths until they are out of breath, and during this period, their nose breathes heavily. However, cheetahs that run at full speed have weak physical conditions and require dozens of minutes to recover. Therefore, they are unable to face African jackals and can only give up on the prey they have; But there have been extreme cases where a cheetah, after hunting, risked its life to drive away an African jackal. A cheetah that fails to hunt continuously for 5 times or whose prey is taken away may starve to death because it no longer has the strength to hunt. [5]

Due to the short teeth of cheetahs, they sometimes cannot use their teeth to bite food to death. Often relying on the upper and lower jaws is like a pair of pliers that grip the neck of prey, causing them to suffocate and die. The hunting method of a cheetah is generally as follows: although it runs fast, because its distance is very limited, it will try to approach the prey as close as possible, step by step, and try not to let the prey notice it. When it gets close enough, it will suddenly jump out and pounce on the prey. At this point, catching prey relies on speed. If it cannot catch it on the first attempt, then the prey is likely to not be able to catch it. Because prey runs very fast, such as antelopes. Another is being good at dodging, constantly making sharp turns, and possibly avoiding. So when a cheetah catches an animal, it jumps out. If the animal is closer, it tries to extend its paws as much as possible, so its paws are always exposed. Claw on the hind limbs of the prey as much as possible, then pounce and bite its neck to subdue the prey. Generally speaking, it takes 5-10 minutes for the cheetah to bite the prey's neck before those large prey will die. Waiting for those hunters

After the prey dies, cheetahs drag the corpses of those prey to the middle of the dense forest for feeding. [5]


The prey species that cheetahs rely on for survival have evolved speed and avoidance techniques that can keep them away from them. The prey of cheetahs includes: Tang's gazelle, Ge's gazelle, high horned antelope, small horned horse, etc. When food is scarce, they also attack zebras. In addition, ostriches are also a common prey for cheetahs. And other small and medium-sized antelopes, rabbits, birds, and rodents. Cheetahs also prey on the young of larger groups of animals. Cheetahs usually prefer to prey on wild species and avoid hunting livestock. Exceptions occur in cheetahs who are sick, injured, old or young, and inexperienced. Generally speaking, livestock preyed upon by cheetahs can also become sick, injured, and old/young. Keeping livestock in pastures and utilizing non lethal protective measures can greatly reduce predation by livestock. [7]

natural enemy

Cheetahs in nature are often defeated by larger feline animals, such as lions, or may be bitten and eaten by lions. The survival rate of young leopards is very low, with two-thirds of them being bitten to death by lions, hyenas, or starving to death before the age of one. [5]

Distribution range



Origin: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Central Africa, Chad, Ethiopia, Iran, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Suspected extinction: Eritrea.

Extinction: Afghanistan, Burundi, Cameroon, DRC, C ô te d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, India, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Malawi, Mauritania, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Syria, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Western Sahara.

There is uncertainty: Djibouti, Egypt, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Togo.

Re introduction: Eswatini.

Reproductive methods



The life cycle of cheetahs is divided into three stages: cubs (born to 18 months), adolescence (18 to 24 months), and adulthood (24 months and later).

The pregnancy period of cheetahs is 93 days, and the number of offspring per litter ranges from 1 or 2 to 6 (occasionally with 8 offspring recorded, but rarely). In protected areas such as national parks and wildlife reserves, the mortality rate of juveniles is higher than in non protected areas, which are further away from large predators. In these regions, the mortality rate of cheetah cubs can reach up to 90%. [7]

Male cheetahs generally also compete for mates. It is not monogamous, it is free competition in the wild. The pregnancy period is 91 to 95 days, and a female cheetah can give birth to 1-6 offspring per litter, usually 2-4. Female cheetahs that give birth build their nests in areas with dense grass, deep jungles, or swamps that other animals cannot reach, as it is possible that some fierce beasts may prey on these cheetahs.

Generally, cheetahs do not start hunting independently until they reach one year old. Cheetahs typically weigh 240-300 grams and will not crawl until 2-3 days after birth, their eyes will not open until 4-14 days, they will not start feeding until 21-28 days, and they will start weaning after two months. After 9-10 months, female cheetahs begin to reach sexual maturity. Male cheetahs usually need to be fourteen months old to reach sexual maturity. When young cheetahs are born, they have some cloak like fur on their back, and the fluffy fur usually begins to fall off at two and a half months old.

The lifespan of wild cheetahs is generally 15 years, but in artificial captivity, cheetahs may survive for 18 years.


Unless accompanied by cubs, females will lead a lonely life. Unlike male cheetahs who prefer to live with their allies on fixed territories, female cheetahs travel within "family boundaries" that overlap with multiple male populations. The habitat of female cheetahs depends on the distribution of their prey. If prey roams around, the range of females will be larger. [7]

The estrus of female cheetahs is unpredictable or regular. This is also one of the reasons why captive cheetahs are difficult to breed. Researchers have found that mating acceptance depends on environmental factors, which are triggered by male proximity and their odor markers. The estrus period lasts for 14 days, during which females will mate with multiple males. During estrus, male cheetahs who encounter female cheetahs will stay with them and mate for up to three days, and will mate at regular intervals throughout the day. In terms of mating, no dominant male in the alliance claims to be able to exclusively enjoy females. All males within the alliance will mate. [7]


At birth, the cub weighs 8.5 to 15 ounces, is blind and helpless. Their mother patiently grooms them, makes a quiet gurgling sound, and provides them with warmth and a sense of security. After about a day, the mother will leave the cub to search for it herself, so that it can continue to take care of the cub. This is the most vulnerable time for cubs because they are not protected. They will live in a secluded nest until they grow to about 6 to 8 weeks old, and their mothers will regularly move them from one nest to another to avoid being caught by predators. In the following year and a half, the mother will take care of her cubs alone. [7]

At around six weeks old, the cub began to follow its mother's daily travels as she was searching for prey. In the first few months, she couldn't walk far or fast, and the mortality rate of her cubs was the highest. During this period, less than one tenth of the cubs were able to survive because they would die from being preyed upon or injured by other large carnivores such as lions and hyenas. This is when teaching life skills.

The back of cheetah cubs has a thick layer of silver gray mantle. The mantle helps disguise young by mimicking the appearance of a combative animal called the honey badger. This imitation may help prevent predators such as lions, hyenas, and eagles from attempting to kill them. The cubs lose their mantle at around three months old. [7]

Between four and six months old, cheetah cubs are very active and mischievous. Trees provide good observation points and allow for the development of balance skills. The cubs' semi retractable claws are sharper at this age, which can help them grasp the tall "game tree" that they climb with their brothers and sisters. Learning to hunt is the most crucial survival skill that offspring will develop. At the age of one, cheetah cubs will participate in hunting activities with their mothers. [7]

At around 18 months old, the mother and cub will eventually separate. Although not entirely adept at hunting alone, independent male and female cubs will persist for a few more months to master their hunting skills. When adolescent females start hunting on their own, the dominant male will make love to them and drive away their brothers. [7]


The adult life of wild cheetahs is difficult. The average age range of wild cheetahs (a combination of males and females) is 10-12 years old. The average lifespan of wild adult males is relatively low (8 years), partly due to territorial conflicts with competing male populations. Adult mortality rate is one of the most important limiting factors for the growth and survival of wild cheetah populations. Captive cheetahs can live for 17-20 years.

Population status

There are only 9000 to 12000 cheetahs in Africa, of which about 10% live in captivity. Protecting cheetahs has become a task for people, especially in Africa. In contemporary times, cheetahs are still regarded as symbols of status. Although owning cheetahs and exotic pets have been banned in many countries/regions, there is still a high demand for cheetahs as pets. The cubs were illegally captured from the wild, and only one sixth of them survived the process of finding potential buyers. [7]

One reason for the decrease in the number of cheetahs is the reduction of herbivorous animals, such as antelopes and wildebeests, with a reduced distribution area and reduced food resources for cheetahs; Another point is that the ecological environment of cheetahs is separated and isolated by human villages, roads, and other human activity areas. At this time, the population of cheetahs is very small, making it very difficult for them to find mates; The third reason is due to the trade of cheetah fur, especially international trade, which has been restricted by the implementation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. However, this smuggling still exists, and the poaching of cheetahs by these smugglers poses a great threat to the survival of cheetahs.

Hunting, retaliatory killings, habitat encroachment, and other factors collectively led to a sharp decline in the global cheetah population in the last century, driving the species out of most historical ranges. Today, one of the last strongholds of the species is still in southern Africa, spanning Namibia and Botswana, which together account for two-thirds of the population of the species. [8]

Cheetahs require vast land and suitable prey, water, and cover to survive. Due to human expansion around the world, wastelands have been destroyed and fragmented, and the available habitats of cheetahs have also been destroyed. The available habitats are fragmented, and degradation reduces the number of animals that a region can support. Many landscapes in Africa that once could feed thousands of cheetahs are difficult to feed a few. [7]

Unlike other large felines and group carnivores, cheetahs perform poorly in wildlife reserves. These areas typically contain high-density other large carnivorous animals such as lions, leopards, and hyenas. Predators like this will compete with cheetahs for prey and even kill them when given the opportunity. In these regions, the mortality rate of cheetah cubs can reach up to 90%. Therefore, approximately 90% of cheetahs in Africa live outside protected land on private farmland, and often engage in conflicts with humans. When predators threaten farmers' livestock, they also threaten their livelihoods. Farmers quickly take action to protect their resources, often luring or shooting cheetahs. Because cheetahs hunt more during the day, they are seen more frequently than night predators, which leads to higher levels of persecution for cheetahs.

Artificial reproduction

In September 1967, the Whipsnade Zoo near Dunlop, Bedfordshire, England was the world's first zoo to breed and successfully raise cheetahs. At that time, a pair of cheetahs named Juanita and Jack in the zoo gave birth to three cubs named Jason, Jasmine, and Jacaranda. [13]

Related Culture



Historical role

Traditional African therapists and shamans use cheetah foot bones to symbolize agility and speed in spiritual rituals. They use bones from various animals and techniques from different tribes. Objects representing people, things, or emotions in the past, present, or future are called divination sets.

During the pharaoh era in Egypt, the cheetah was considered a goddess named Mafdet. The pharaohs regarded the cheetah as an intimate companion, symbolizing the protection of the throne by Mafdet.

The saints of southern Africa eat cheetah meat as a symbol of speed, but it is not the main food in their diet.

The king wears cheetah skin for dignity. The trade of cheetah skin only began after European explorers began to make demands.

Artistic image

In many parts of the world, there is a strong cultural connection with cheetahs as companions. This practice has a long history and is very common in ancient art.

The Sumerians (ancestors of Iraq) were the first people to use cheetahs in art. Cheetahs and leopards are often confused and mistaken for each other. The cheetah in early art was often referred to as the "flower leopard" or "cheetah". Early artists referred to real leopards as "pardus" and described them as a hybrid between panthers and lions. [8]

During the Middle Ages and Renaissance, artists began to paint cheetahs and other more realistic animals. During this period of scientific exploration, detailed descriptions of animals provided impetus for reality in art. With the increasing trade in live animals, artists are more frequently incorporating the image of cheetahs into their paintings. Artists always depict cheetahs as animals of speed and royalty. [8]

world record

The fastest mammal on land (short distance): The fastest mammal on land is the cheetah. When measured over short distances, cheetahs can maintain a stable top speed of about 100 kilometers per hour on flat ground. (Guinness World Records) [6]

International Cheetah Day

Celebrate Cheetah Day on December 4th. In 2010, Dr. Laurie Marker designated December 4th as International Cheetah Day. The annual celebration is to commemorate a cheetah cub named Khayam, who is kept at the wildlife park in Winston, Oregon.

Khayam is a cheetah that received training for its first wildlife research project. This study aims to determine whether captive born cheetahs can be taught hunting. In 1977, Dr. Marker led Khayam to Namibia for a research project. She witnessed how cheetahs became so endangered during that trip. As a way to protect livestock, farmers are extensively eliminating cheetahs from the landscape.