(Latin = Acinonyx jubatus, Afrikaans = Jagluiperd, German = Gepard)
Numbers: Low Weight: 36 - 60kg (79 - 132 lb.) Shoulder height: 80 cm (32 in.) Pregnancy time: 90 days + Cub quantity: Up to 6
Found only in the warmest areas, such as the bushveld (north western and northernparts) of the Northern Province and in Mpumalanga, especially in the Limpopo valley and in the whole of the Lowveld, as well as in the upper Kalahari-areas of the North Cape.
This one's 0 - 100 km/h time will shame those Ferrari's, Porches and Lamborgini's. Being the fastest animal on the planet, it has done it's share to ensure that the mighty cat family is unchallenged as the most awesome species sharing the same turf as us humans. The cheetah is a very calculated hunter: over an vast area of plain savanna filled with grazing antelope,it will pierce from behind a dense cover of long grass or from a welcome bush in between. Once it has selected it's victim, it doesn't have space for second thoughts about easier prey : it seems as if the cheetah have focal lenses fixed at a narrow angle on the poor antelope it's heading for. It will take a calculated charge, changing into longer and longer strides toward it's prey, until the prey is fleeing in a somewhat isolating direction. Then, with a burst of power flowing from the very long back feet, the cheetah will gear back and accelerate with a bang to which no other creature can compare, clearing an astonishing amount of meters with each stride, catching the nippiest antelope within seconds. With unbelievable acrobatics (at that speeds!), the prey's dodging is overridden in a dust cloud where a very fast tightening move of the victim's throat takes place. Then it simply waits until the body of the captured animal slowly becomes lifeless at the powerful grip of the cheetah's mouth. Incredible as it may sound, but this gruesome wonder itself was born as a helpless, blind bundle of vulnerability to whom even an eagle could pose a deadly threat. An most rare subspecies is distinguished (some would say their numbers are too low to speak of a real sub specimen), namely the most beautiful king cheetah, that have a more striped coating than the familiar spots of the common cheetah.