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Cheetah

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Fri Sep 23, 2005 11:58 am Unread post
Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus)

Classification:
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Genus: Acinonyx

Other names:
Afrikaans: Jagluiperd
French: Guépard
German: Gepard
Dutch: Jachtluipaard
Portuguese: Chita

The Cheetah (derived from Sanskrit word Chitraka meaning "Speckled") hunts by speed rather than by stealth or pack tactics.
It is the fastest of all terrestrial animals and can reach speeds of up to 100 km/h (62 mph) in short bursts.

The cheetah's body is svelte and muscular.
It has a small head and short muzzle, high-placed eyes, large nostrils for maximal oxygen intake, and small round ears.
The adult animal weighs from 40 to 65 kg (90 to 140 lb).
Its total body length is from 112 to 135 cm (45 in to 55 in), while the tail can measure up to 84 cm (33 in). Male cheetahs are slightly larger than females and have a slightly bigger head, but it is difficult to tell males and females apart by appearance alone.

The fur of the cheetah is yellow with round black spots, which help to camouflage it, and distinctive black tear lines on the sides of the muzzle.
The cheetah's paws have only semi-retractable claws, the only of its type amongst the species of cat, and offer the cat extra grip in its high-speed pursuits.
Unlike true big cats, cheetahs can purr as they inhale, but cannot roar.
By contrast, lions, tigers, leopards, and jaguars can roar but cannot purr, except while exhaling.

The cheetah is a vulnerable species.
Out of all the big cats, it is the least able to adapt to new environments.
Once widely shot for its fur, the cheetah now suffers more from the loss of both habitat and prey.

Habitat:
The cheetah prefers to live in an open biotope, such as semi-desert, prairie, and thick brush.

Reproduction and social life:
Cheetah acquires sexual maturity in 20 to 24 months.
Mating season is throughout the year.
Females give birth to one to five kittens after a gestation of ninety to ninety-five days.
Cheetah kittens are born with a downy underlying fur on their necks, extending to mid-back.
This gives them a mane or mohawk type appearance, this fur is shed as the cheetahs grow older.
The cheetah can live over twenty years, but their life is often short for they lose their speed due to old age. Unlike other felines, the adult females do not have true territories and seem to avoid each other, though some mother/daughter pairs have been known to continue for small periods of time.
Males sometimes form small groups, especially when they come from the same litter.
Usually these groups consist of two or three brothers.
Life span is up to 12 years in wild, much longer in captivity.

Conservation status:
Vulnerable. Cheetah cubs have a high mortality rate due to genetic factors and predation by carnivores in competition with the cheetah, such as the lion and hyena.
Some biologists now believe that they are too inbred to flourish as a species.
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Mon Sep 26, 2005 4:22 am Unread post
One of the least common cats and yet regularly seen as it hunts during the day. Though being described as a plain loving animal (thus being seen most often around Satara) I have seen them all over the Park. A group of 5 were seen on the Punda - Parfuri road last December early one morning. I saw one in the wooded area around Pretoriouskop a few years ago.

Keep looking - they are there!

Richard



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Tue Sep 27, 2005 7:42 pm Unread post
My mother and grandfather were visiting the Park for two weeks earlier this month and they saw cheetah twice on the gravel road travelling from Nhlanguleni and Muzandzeni.

The second time was last week Monday when I joined them for the weekend. I was driving in front with my car and Grandpa following in his. Just after Lugmag dam travelling south I had to swerve out of the way of a grey duiker running across the road. I just barely missed him (only moving at about 30km/h by the way) Got a big fright, said a few choice words to the duiker and continued on. A bit further on I notice in my rearview-mirror that Grandpa ain't there no more, so I stop to wait. When he gets there a few minutes later he explained his reason for disappearing. When I swerved for the duiker, which they didn't even noticed, they saw a cheetah jumping down from the anthill it was resting on and running after the duiker :shock: I completely missed this in my state of shock and I'm still giving some choice words to the #@% duiker :!:


cheetahs and kruger

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Sat Nov 05, 2005 10:15 pm Unread post
Cheetah numbers are very low in park with a recent estimate of at least 70 based on recent census - there maybe some 100 - 200 I guess..

I have seeb them in Kruger 6 times in following areas - Pretoriuskop, Albasini, Afsaal, Letaba, Orpen, N Rockvale on Orpen-Satara rd.

I think as Iam says, Kgalagadi is best for th them - go there !!

w



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Mon Jan 23, 2006 12:41 pm Unread post
In August 2004 we were very fortunate to see a Leopard and Cheetah on the same day in KNP. Here's some pictures of the Cheetah and her 3 cubs on Napi Road.
Image

Image

Image




Mon Jan 23, 2006 1:11 pm Unread post
Nice photos Hyaena, especially the cubs, they are so cute. :D
I only had the privilege to see cheetah cubs once. I was teenager and visited Kruger with the parents.
I remember the female had five cubs, and we arrived just after she killed an impala.
The five sat waiting as she tore open the skin.
She then uttered a sort of "meow" sound and two of the cubs ran towards her and started eating, the other three stayed put, waiting to be called.
She then tore open another piece and only then did the others joined in.
My father afterwards enquired about the fact that the female had five cubs and was told that this was a rare phenomenon.



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Mon Jan 23, 2006 1:34 pm Unread post
We also heard her making "meow" sounds when calling her cubs. She was walking in the road while they were running alongside in the grass. When they got to far behind she stopped and called them. She then took them to a tree, where she made them wait. She started walking towards an impala that stood further up the road. Our hearts started pounding like you won't believe - she was hunting! She took off with a tremendous speed, but the impala saw her coming. She was unsucessful. She came back, got her cubs from under the tree, crossed the road, and dissappeared into the bush. It was one of the most amazing things I've ever seen!



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Wed Apr 05, 2006 11:21 am Unread post
We were fortunate enought to see two young ones in the Punda Maria area ... we have been very fortunate with our visits. The last 2 visits for us have produced leopard and cheetah.



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Sat Apr 08, 2006 5:02 pm Unread post
bert wrote
The new African Geographic has a great article on cheetah in a private reserve near EL . These have adapted to bush/scrub
country and dont hunt in open country. Some of them even excel as night hunters .


have also red it. I was astonished by how quick animals can adapt to changing conditions in order to survive. This also means that a reintroduction into Addo could be succesful :D



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Thu Jul 06, 2006 7:51 am Unread post
1 of the 2 Bangu brothers.

Image



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Thu Jul 06, 2006 3:15 pm Unread post
Image

6 of 7 seen at Parfuri.

Richard

http://www.pbase.com/richardharris/june_2006



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Thu Jul 06, 2006 3:42 pm Unread post
Look very carefully :) I can see seven :?: I think, one under trees to left very camoflauged lying down and the other difficult one is center walking into trees in front of the other
rosadee


Last edited by Dotty on Thu Jul 06, 2006 3:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Thu Jul 06, 2006 8:16 pm Unread post
darryk91 wrote
never knew cheetah traveled in 7..
is this common i usually just see a loner


Hi, altho I don't think it is all that common, there seem to be more of these larger family group sightings lately, which is of course very good news for the Cheetah population. :D
If memory serves me correctly ther was a group of 7 seen this year on the S65 and another of 6 on the Hi-2 and of course the group seen by RH.
They would consist of an adult female and her dependant cubs, never including the male.
I personally have only seen a female with 3 cubs in a KZN reserve and single Cheetah in Kruger.


Last edited by Elsa on Fri Jul 07, 2006 12:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Tue Jul 11, 2006 11:54 am Unread post
In December 2004, I had probably my greatest trip ever. And because I don't get to see cheetah that often- this was the highlight of my trip.

In an attempt to avoid the traffic, we decided to travel along the S34, visit Lugmag dam and have lunch at Nhlanguleni. The return route would be the S36 (to search for the Sable of course!)

About 10 km short of the end of the road- these were padding along:
(Photos have been resized to aid download)
Image

Image

Image

Image

5 of the beauties! They didn't even pause and eventually disapeared into the bush on the right hand side!


Last edited by matthew on Tue Jul 11, 2006 12:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Tue Jul 11, 2006 12:00 pm Unread post
After a fantastic brunch (and lion at the dam) we made our way back down south, and found our family again. This time at the intersection of the S33 and the S36. They made their way down the S33 (including a shortcut through the bush) and crossed the S36.

Image

Image

Image

And, just to top it off- about 5 km's down the road- Sable!
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