By Clarence Sharpe
The cheetah is a large feline (family Felidae, subfamily Felinae) inhabiting most of Africa and parts of the Middle East. It is the only extant member of the genus Acinonyx. The cheetah can run faster than any other land animal— as fast as 112 to 120 km/h (70 to 75 mph) in short bursts covering distances up to 500 m (1,600 ft), and has the ability to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in three seconds. This cat is also notable for modifications in the species' paws. It is one of the few felids with semi-retractable claws.
- The color of their fur helps them to blend into tall grass, making them difficult to locate in the wild
- The Cheetah is the world’s fastest land mammal. With acceleration that would leave most cars in the dust, a cheetah can go from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in only three seconds
- Dotted markings on its fur helps it to camouflage with its surroundings when hunting prey.
Loss of habitat, conflict with humans, as well as its own loss of genetic variation, are the main threats facing the cheetah today. The cheetah needs large expanses of land to survive, but with changes in land use and habitat pressures, such as bush encroachment, this area is becoming smaller and smaller. Unfortunately, captive breeding efforts have not proven meaningful to the cheetah's hopes of survival. The Cheetah Was once an easy found animal in the five continents.
- The mother moves her litter to a new lair every four days. She inspects a new bush or other hidden area only within a couple of meters from the last lair. These frequent moves prevent the litter from a build up of smell making it harder for hyenas or other predators to find them.