Scientific name:

Acinonyx jubatus

 

What makes it special:

This member of the big cat family and can be easily recognized by its round, black spots on the most of its creamy yellow to white body. It closely resembles the leopard, but the leopard’s spots are different. Another difference between these two cats is that the cheetah is swifter.

 

Recommended caliber:

.375 H&H is the legal minimum in most countries.

Cheetah Hunting - The world’s fastest land animal

Like many of other members of the cat family, the cheetah is well equipped with good sensory and movement skills. It has perfect eyesight, sense of hearing and smelling, making it difficult to approach without detection. It is also worth mentioning that this is the fastest mammal on earth with speeds up to 113 kilometers per hour. It accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3 seconds.

Hunting method

Hunting this dangerous game calls for patience and skills. Its senses and high speed makes it dangerous when charging at the hunter. They are not known for attacking humans without reason, but they are less afraid of humans compared to other game and will always pose with a confident look when approached, so you’ll need steady nerves. Their solitary life or existence in small packs and the camouflage provided by their body’s marks makes them hard to detect. Stalks in the open grasslands and common feeding places are likely to yield fruitful results. The shot can be placed between the eyes to aim at the brain or slightly below the armpit to hit the heart and lungs region. 

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Know the animal

Appearance

The cheetah has a cream coat with solid black spots. Its belly and the end of the tail are white. It legs are long and muscular suspending it in a posture suggesting swiftness. Its head is relatively small with a distinct tear black marking running from the eyes to the side of the mouth. Their muzzle is shallow and black in color too.

 

Habitat

In the eastern, central and southern Africa they are found in savannah grassland, dense vegetation, semi-desert conditions and open woodlands. They are typically found in places where they can easily find prey and has less competition from other predators because they don’t like fighting for their food.

 

Diet

Cheetahs are purely carnivorous. They prey on small antelopes weighing below 40 kilograms, warthogs, guinea fowls, hare and kob. After they’ve made their kill they consume the carcasses fast before hyenas snatch it or stronger predators like the lion comes by. They fear confrontation with other predators making them very vulnerable to losing their prey after catching.

 

Predators

They have no practical predator other that man, though its cabs (young ones) can be prey for lion, leopards, jackal and wolf.

 

Life cycle

Cheetahs have a gestation period of 90-95 days after which the female cheetah gives birth to a litter of 3- 5 cubs. The cubs weigh around 300 grams at birth and bear the characteristic spots. The female cheetah goes hunting after birth to gather enough food for lactation. There are other instances where the cheetah abandons her litter especially when food is very scarce.

 

Behavior

Juvenile cheetahs are very social. The females are more solitary compared to the males. After separation from their mothers, brothers form a pack of two to three in which they spend the rest of their life. However, sisters separate and find their own place to live. The male’s packs do not accommodate other members and are very territorial which makes them fight against members of other packs when they meet. Despite the fact that cheetahs fight amongst themselves, they highly avoid fighting with other predators and fear injuries.

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Animal Facts

Weight and size

Weight: Up to 72 kilograms

Shoulder height: 94 centimeters

 

Habitat

They are found in semiarid, savannah grasslands and open woodlands.

 

 

Diet

They are purely carnivorous. They mostly prey on medium sized game animals with the antelopes being their favorite meal.

 

Predators

Mainly man. They are at the top of the food chain.

 

Life cycle

12-14 years.

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