Cheetah – fastest animal
Cheetah is the world’s fastest land animal. They can sprint faster than 110 kilometers per hour, but they usually cannot keep up this top speed for more than 455 meters.
“Cheetah” comes from the Hindu word chita, meaning “spotted one.” Small black spots cover most of the cheetah’s sandy yellow fur. The belly is white. Black lines run from the eyes to the corners of the mouth.
An average cheetah measures 1.4 to 1.5 meters long and stands between 69 and 86 centimeters high at its shoulder. Its tail extends 61 to 81 centimeters. It weighs between 36 and 66 kilograms. Males tend to be larger than females.
Cheetahs cannot retract its claws. This allows the animal to dig into the ground as it runs, giving it speed.
They prey on gazelles, wildebeest, antelope, warthogs, hares, and ground birds. Unlike other big cats (leopards, lions, tigers) they never eat carrion. These animals can live 5-6 days without food.
Cheetahs live alone or in small groups. After a gestation period of 90 to 95 days, a female cheetah gives birth to a litter of one to eight cubs. Cheetah cubs stay with their mother for more than a year while they learn to hunt. Cubs have no spots at birth.
Cheetahs prefer to inhabit savannas and other dry, open grasslands. They live in scattered parts of central, eastern, and southern Africa. A small number of wild cheetahs live in Iran.
Cheetahs have been kept for centuries by kings and noblemen as pets and hunting animals.
People hunt cheetahs for their fur. Eventually, wild cheetahs disappeared from India and many other places. Today cheetahs are in danger of dying out completely.
In the wild, cheetahs live 10-12 years and in captivity they can live up to 17 years.