Physical characteristics and distribution
Body length: females: 100 – 140 cm, males: 110 – 150 cm
Weight: females: 30 – 40 kg, males: 45 – 55 kg
Life expectancy: 14 years
Species: 10,000, endangered
The cheetah has a lithe, streamlined body. Despite its stately size, it is very light. He stands on long, thin legs that end in small feet. Unlike most cats, he has very hard soles and can not move his claws. The cheetah’s tail can grow up to 70 centimeters long. The round head of this cat is small compared to the body. The ears are also small and the eyes are set high. The cheetah’s coat is dyed reddish-brown and decorated with black polka dots. The face is darker and instead of speckles two black stripes run from the eyes to the corners of the mouth.
Reproduction and development
Cheetahs become sexually mature at two to three years. The females usually develop a little faster than the males. The female can get boy all year round. On the urine, the male recognizes whether the female is in heat. It then joins the female and the two mate very often for about four days. After about 90 days the mother gives birth to three to five cubs. In rare cases, a litter may consist of up to eight babies. The little ones have the first months long silvery hair on the back, which serve to camouflage. The mother and offspring spend the first eight weeks in a sheltered building. Small cheetahs have many enemies. To protect her children, the mother often changes the construction. When they are old enough, the little ones accompany the mother on the hunt, from the seventh month they participate actively. When they become sexually mature, the boys break away from the mother.
Lifestyle and behavior
Cheetahs live and hunt alone. When there is a lack of food, they sometimes form small groups to hunt more efficiently. Even families are occasionally found, as the father often supports the mother in the rearing. Although cheetahs live in a fixed area, they know no territorial behavior. Their territory covers up to 600 km ², which they share without problems with conspecifics, since the population is so small. The cheetah is diurnal. He spends the days on small heights to spy on his prey. At night he retreats into sheltered hiding places. An adult cheetah has hardly any natural predators thanks to its speed.
The cheetah has a very good ear. He can perceive high frequencies that are no longer audible to humans. Like all cats, the cheetah has a great sense of sight. A broad intersection of the visual axes allows him an excellent spatial vision. At night, this big cat looks six times better than humans. The sense of smell is the most developed sense of the cheetah. Just by smelling the animal can completely orient itself. With his facial hair the cheetah takes the finest touch. This is especially important for orientation in the caves and buildings.
Gazelles, antelopes, zebras, impala and kudu are on the cheetah’s diet. Occasionally he also eats birds, rabbits or farm animals. The cheetah loves fresh meat, he only eats carrion in an emergency. He hunts about every two to three days; only when a female has a boy does she hunt daily. The cat prefers the cool morning and evening hours for the hunt. But even the hot days have their advantages. During this time, the prey is sluggish and the competition low. The cheetah is a fast and skilled hunter. However, he does not endure a quick hunt for a long time and must rest even after the loss of prey before he can eat. During this time the food is often stolen from other predators.
Hunting style, equipment and countries
The cheetah is still present in a few countries in southern Africa but is consistently protected with the exception of Namibia. In Namibia there is a very high population of cheetahs for whom CITES licenses are granted every year. The hunting of the cheetah is very much dependent on chance. He can not be gebaitet and the best opportunities are either to see a stalking or while driving in the area or at the distinctive game trees when they occur in a precinct. Cheetahs can be shot with all calf species suitable for the game.
Hunting trip Countries
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