Cheetahs, being one of the big cats found in Africa, are known for being the most graceful and fastest of the lot, just as how the leopard is known for its ferocity and just as how the lion is infamous for its majestic regality.
The subject of countless movies and short films, a more in-tune view of the cheetah was featured in the 2005 feature, Duma, with the movie telling the story of a cheetah and a boy living in South Africa.
With a lifespan which ranges somewhere between 10 to 20 years, the cheetah is famed for being the fastest land animal in the world, though its speed aspect is actually rated in “bursts” or in “sprints”, not necessarily rated for extended durations and/or distances.
Built for speed, the cheetah’s long muscular legs affords it with the capacity to cover more distances when running, as its round-shaped head, flexible spine and long tail are prefect complements to the cheetah’s running stance.
Its body’s physical build for speed is backed by its unique paws, with claws with are un-retractable, much like how the paws of dogs are known, and with paw pads geared for better traction and footing when on the move.
Typically found in the open savannas, the cheetah’s preferred prey has long been pegged to be antelopes. Though they are predators, they also are prey to certain species, including hyenas, lions, eagles and the most dangerous of them all, human beings.
Cheetahs are generally described as shy creatures, with cheetahs not as often encountered when compared against other big cats. At risk of extinction, the factors which have caused for the decline of cheetah populations includes the loss of its natural habitat, death of young cheetahs (with a number dying within three months after their birth), and poaching.
Considered to be the easiest to domesticate of all the big cats, histories of cheetahs being utilized in hunting parties are known to exist, with a number of historic personalities having been described to own a pet cheetah at one point in time.
Given their overall uniqueness, the cheetah remains to be one of the world’s most well-loved creatures, with a lot of attention focused on helping cheetah population thrive amidst the challenges the species is faced to deal with.
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