Monday the 4th December marks International Cheetah Day so I wanted to commemorate the occasion and share with you some facts about these beautiful big cats.
Cheetahs occur mainly in eastern and southern Africa and in some parts of Iran. You can identify a cheetah by:
- a slender body
- deep chest
- a small round head
- spotted coat
- long thin legs
- a long spotted tail
- black streaks on the face
These animals are carnivores and feed on prey such as antelope and gazelle. Cheetahs are active during the day and will hunt during this time. When hunting, a cheetah will stalk their prey to within about 100-300 metres after which they charge towards it. During the chase, the cheetah will trip the prey and bite down on it’s throat to suffocate it to death.
Cheetahs are the fastest land animal and can reach speeds of up to 112km/h (although this speed is not sustainable). The average hunting speed of a cheetah is approximately 64km/h.
Female cheetahs often live alone or with their cubs whereas the adult males will sometimes form social groups known as ‘coalitions’.
These amazing cats are classified as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and they have suffered a big decline due to excessive hunting in the 20th century. Earlier this year, the global cheetah population had fallen to approximately 7000 in the wild due to poaching, habitat loss, illegal animal trade and human conflict. It won’t be long before cheetahs are added to the Endangered Species list and that will be a very sad day indeed. If you would like to make a donation to the Cheetah Conservation Fund please go to https://cheetah.org/ and click on the ‘Donate’ button at the top. Every little bit counts.
I will donate 10% of all sales from big cat inspired homewares to the Cheetah Conservation Fund in December. Together, we can make a difference.
Cheetah inspired homewares – Shop Now
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I have been lucky enough over the course of my life to have seen several cheetah in the wild and can only hope that one day I will be able to share this experience with my husband and daughter. On my last trip back to Africa I was able to interact with two rescued cheetah named Diesel and Levi at Wild Is Life in Zimbabwe. These cheetahs arrived at the sanctuary at only 6 weeks old. They were covered in fleas, mangey and immunosuppressed. There were times when the team didn’t know if they would recover. Luckily they did and they have grown into two magnificent creatures. Diesel quite likes a pat from his human friends but Levi is more aloof and prefers to be left alone.
Diesel and I getting to know each other in 2012. I was surprised to find his coat very coarse to touch and that he purred loudly, just like a house cat!
Don’t forget to shop our African cat inspired range of homewares. They make great gifts!