The cheetah is a feline predator that lives in Africa and the Middle East. Outwardly, the cheetah is very similar to a leopard, some even believe that it is one and the same animal. Nevertheless, they have a number of significant differences, for example, the cheetah has a thinner body, a smaller head, and characteristic dark stripes stretch along the nose to the mouth.
10 interesting facts about cheetahs
- Cheetah is the recognized record holder for running speed among land animals. In just a couple of seconds, the cheetah is able to accelerate to a speed of 75 kilometers per hour, and the maximum speed exceeds 100 kilometers. But, he is able to withstand such a pace only at a distance of several hundred meters. The cheetah, unlike most predators, does not ambush the victim, but pursues it. The predator tries to approach as close as possible, after which it makes its "sprint" dash.
- The 100m world record is currently held by Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, who covered the distance in 2009 in 9.59 seconds. Cheetahs run a hundred meters much faster. The record holder among them is a female named Sarah, who raced 100 meters in 2012 in 5, 95 seconds. It is unlikely that a person will ever be able to surpass this achievement. During an intense run, the cheetah makes up to 150 breaths and exhalations every minute.
- The cheetah is most active in the morning and evening hours. And in the heat, he loves to relax in the shade more. After one successful hunt, the cheetah is able to go without food for 5-6 days. Zoologists claim that cheetahs, unlike their relatives in the feline family, never eat carrion, preferring freshly harvested food. If, for some reason, the cheetah did not manage to finish the prey, after a while he does not return to it.
- Pursuit of the victim lasts only a few seconds, and the cheetahs tire quickly. If the throw is unsuccessful, the cheetah rests, choosing a less mobile hunting object. But, the cheetah itself, which does not differ in its large body size, often becomes a victim of other, more powerful predators. There are cases when even crocodiles attack cheetahs who have come to drink.
- The number of cheetahs has been steadily declining in recent decades. if at the beginning of the last century there were about 100, 000 of them in the world, now it is about 10 times less. In many countries of the world, this animal has completely disappeared. About half of all cheetahs in the world currently live in southern Africa. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has recognized the cheetah as an endangered species.
In Saudi Arabia and India, no one has been able to meet cheetahs in the wild since the middle of the last century. They also completely disappeared on the territory of Turmenia, where they were found not long ago. Of the Asian countries, the largest number of cheetahs survived in Iran.
- Even nature reserves and zoos cannot cope with the problem of the decline in the number of cheetahs. In reserves, cheetahs suffer from attacks by lions and tigers, and in captivity, these animals reproduce extremely poorly. Throughout history, a little more than 400 cases have been documented.
- A female's gestation period lasts about three months, after which several cubs are born. The first months of life they feed exclusively on milk, then the mother gradually begins to accustom them to meat. In the wild, less than half of the offspring survive to one year old. In captivity, the lifespan of a cheetah can reach 20 years, the greatest duration was recorded in the Bukhara nursery, where the female cheetah lived for 27 years.
- Cheetahs are relatively easy to tame by humans, therefore, since ancient times, they have been used as a hunting animal. The first information about hunting with cheetahs dates back to the 2nd millennium BC. Some rulers kept hundreds of predators for these purposes. In the XI century, hunting with cheetahs appeared in Russia. In Russian chronicles, cheetahs were called "Pardus". Precisely because cheetahs breed poorly in captivity, a gift from a hunter cheetah could really be called "royal".
- The German writer and traveler Matto Berfuss succeeded in what was considered impossible - to infiltrate a pack of cheetahs and become their own. For almost four months he lived among animals in the Serengeti Reserve in Tanzania. The cheetahs even left their cubs in his care when they themselves went hunting. He later returned to the pack. The matured animals recognized him, but they were no longer allowed to approach their cubs.
- Most felines are adept at climbing trees. But, just not cheetahs, they are not able to climb on a horizontal surface, since their claws are not sharp enough. In addition, they do not know how to growl, they purr, and, moreover, much louder than a domestic cat. Cheetahs have excellent eyesight, they are able to see a potential victim at a distance of 5 kilometers.