Cheetahs By: Brynn Levanen

Their long-legged body is built for speed. The fastest land animal in the world, the cheetah is a marvel of evolution . Cheetahs are tan in color with black spots all over their body. They often hunt gazelles, wildebeest calves, impalas and smaller hoofed animals.

Cheetahs were found throughout Africa and Asia from South Africa to India. They are now in parts of eastern, central and southwestern Africa and a small portion of Iran. Cheetahs like open savannah they rely on tall grass for camouflage when hunting. They are more active in the day. Only half of the cheetahs chases last from 20 - 60 seconds, are successful. It's speeds can reach up to 60 or perhaps 70 miles per hour.

Cheetahs knock their prey to the ground and kill with a bite to their neck. They eat quickly before they lose the kills of other bigger or more aggressive carnivores. Cheetahs are also typically solitary animals. Males sometimes live with a small group of brothers from the same litter, females generally raise cubs by themselves for about a year.

Cubs are smoky in color with long, woolly hair – called a mantle – running down their back. This mantle is to camouflage cubs in grass, hiding them from predators. Mothers move cubs to new hiding places every few days. At 5 - 6 weeks, cubs follow the mother and begin eating from their kills. A mother's littler is about 2-4 cubs.

The Cheetah population has decreased 30% over the last 18 years. Only

7,500 adults remain in the wild. Around 50 to 75% cubs die within months.

Over all the Cheetahs Long-legged body built for speed and active kills should remain in the wild.

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