The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Cheetah

Afrikaans name: Jagluiperd

Cheetah at the National Zoological Gardens in Pretoria

Cheetah at the National Zoo in Pretoria

Photo © Steven Herbert

Acinonyx jubatus

Interesting facts about Cheetahs

Cheetahs are well-known for being the fastest animal on four legs. Their build is ideally suited for fast speeds but they lack the strength of their competitors such as Lions and Leopard. Unfortunately these beautiful predators are not as common as the other big cats.

Cheetahs catch their prey by chasing them for a short distance and then knocking it off balance. It then suffocates its prey by clamping its jaws on the throat.

Their main food items are medium sized mammals such as Impala, Steenbok and Warthog but they will also go for the young of bigger species. Cheetahs are often chased off their kills by strongers species such as Lion, Leopard and Spotted Hyena.

Cheetahs are normally seen by themselves although females keep their cubs with them for some time and may be seen as a small group.

Females give birth to 2 to 5 cubs, with 3 being the most common number. Cheetah mothers train their young to hunt. At times they may bring smaller prey back alive and encourage the cubs to hunt it.

References and further reading

Wild Ways - 2nd Edition - Author: Peter Apps - Published: 2000 - Page: 68

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Published: 2011 - Page: 212

Wild Issue 39 - Author: - Published: 2017 - Page: 8

Tracks and Tracking in Southern Africa - Author: Louis Liebenberg - Published: 2000 - Page: 82

Wild Issue 29 - Author: - Published: 2014 - Page: 8

Wild Issue 29 - Author: - Published: 2014 - Page: 67

The Mammal Guide of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Burger Cillie - Published: 2011 - Page: 114

South African Animals in the Wild - Author: Anthony Bannister - Published: 1985 - Page: 81

Southern African Wildlife - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1989 - Page: 63

Signs of the Wild - 5th Edition - Author: Clive Walker - Published: 1996 - Page: 100

Signs of the Wild - 3rd Edition - Author: Clive Walker - Published: 1986 - Page: 105

Readers Digest Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of Southe - Author: Editor - Alan Duggan - Published: 1991 - Page: 417

Readers Digest Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of Southe - Author: Editor - Alan Duggan - Published: 1991 - Page: 277

Places to Visit in Southern Africa - Author: AA RSA - Published: 1995 - Page: 45

Questions and Answers - Mammals of Southern Africa - Author: Deirdre Richards - Published: 1990 - Page: 5

Mammals of Southern Africa - Author: Burger Cillie - Published: 1987 - Page: 47

Mammals of the Kruger and other National Parks - Author: The National Parks Board - Published: 1980 - Page: 24

Land Mammals of Southern Africa - A field guide - Author: Reay HN Smithers - Published: 1986 - Page: 98

Kruger National Park, Visitors Map 1996 - Author: - Published: 1996 - Page: 3

First Field Guide to Animal Tracks of Southern Africa - Author: Louis Liebenberg - Published: 2003 - Page: 36

Game Ranger in your Backpack - Author: Megan Emmett and Sean Pattrick - Published: 2013 - Page: 94

Kruger National Park Questions and Answers - Author: P.F. Fourie - Published: 1987 - Page: 248

Field Guide to the Mammals of the Kruger National Park - Author: U. de V. Pienaar et al. - Published: 1987 - Page: 88

Field Guide to the Mammals of Southern Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart - Published: 2001 - Page: 156

Field Guide to the Larger Mammals of Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart - Published: 1997 - Page: 272

Field Guide to the Cradle of Humankind - Author: B. Hilton-Barber & Prof. L. R. Berger - Published: 2004 - Page: 148

Animals of the Kruger National Park - Author: G. de Graaff - Published: 1987 - Page: 31

Chris and Tilde Stuarts Field Guide to the Mammals of Southern Africa - 1st Edit - Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart - Published: 1988 - Page: 156

An Introduction to the Larger Mammals of Southern Africa - Author: Joanna Dalton - Published: 1987 - Page: 112

Africas Big Cats and Other Carnivores - Author: Nigel Dennis - Published: 2001 - Page: 44

A Field Guide to the Tracks & Signs of Southern and East African Wildlife - 3rd - Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart - Published: 2000 - Page: 30

African Wildlife - A photographic safari - Author: Nigel and Wendy Dennis - Published: 1999 - Page: 36


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List of South African Mammals

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