Mother cheetah laying in grass with cub

African cheetah

A need for speed

Type

giant panda

Mammals

Area

Map of Africa

Africa

Endangered Status

Threatened

facts

size
4 feet
length, 2.5-foot tail
An average soccer ball is 8.65 inches tall.
A cheetah standing next to a soccer ball
food
carnivore
meat
antelope
Carnivore
habitat
savanna
Savanna grassland

description

Cheetah running

Built for speed

Cheetahs are not strong predators, but they are fast. They rely on their speed—up to 70 miles per hour—to catch their prey. Everything about the cheetah is built for speed, from their non-retractable claws that act like cleats for traction, to their long tail that works like a rudder to help them change directions quickly.

Cheetah stutter bark
Cheetah mom with two cubs

Look for the dots

Cheetahs are also known for their spotted coat. The dots are both small and large, and the pattern of spots is unique to each cheetah. The fur of cheetah cubs is darker than that of adults.

Cheetah walking

Threats in the wild

As fast as cheetahs are, they can’t outrun the threats that they face. Like a lot of animals, cheetahs are losing their habitat, as are the prey animals they need to survive. Cheetahs are also often viewed as pests by ranchers. Ranchers may shoot cheetahs to keep them away from their livestock.