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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.

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References and further reading

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

Africa's Big Cats and Other Carnivores - Author: Nigel Dennis - Year Published: 2001 - Page: 44

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

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

Chris and Tilde Stuart's Field Guide to the Mammals of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart - Year Published: 1988 - Page: 156

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

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

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

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

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

Kruger National Park, Visitor's Map - Author: - Year Published: 1996 - Page: 3

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

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

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

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

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

Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of Southern Africa - 2nd edi - Author: Editor - Alan Duggan - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 277

Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of Southern Africa - 2nd edi - Author: Editor - Alan Duggan - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 417

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

List of South African Mammals

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