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

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

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

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

The Rough Guide to Game Parks of South Africa - Author: P. Briggs - Published: 2020 - Page: 324

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

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

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

Wild Issue 18 - Author: - Published: 2012 - Page: 14

Wild Issue 18 - Author: - Published: 2012 - Page: 24

Wild Issue 2 - Author: - Published: 2007 - Page: 30

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

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

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

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

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

Predators of Southern Africa - A field guide - Author: Grobler, Hall-Martin & Walker - Published: 2012 - Page: 120

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

Maberlys Mammals of Southern Africa - Revised edition - Author: Richard Goss - Published: 1986 - Page: 73

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

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

Guide to the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park - Author: Gus Mills and Clem Haagner - Published: 1996 - Page: 44

Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of SA - 2nd edn - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1991 - Page: 277

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

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

Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of SA - 2nd edn - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1991 - Page: 417

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Field Guide to the Mammals of Africa including Madagascar - Author: Theodor Haltenorth and Helmut Diller - Published: 1980 - Page: 224


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List of South African Mammals

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