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The Cheetah I'm going to talk to you about the Cheetah, Where it lives, how it hunts, how the grass helps the cheetah, mating, and what you can do to help the endangered species.

The Cheetah (Acinonyx Jubatus) is the fastest land mammal on earth, capable of speeds of 60-70 miles per hour. Cheetahs live 12 years (17 in captivity) and mature at 20-23 months of age. They are highly territorial. A typical adult cheetah weighs between 80 and 140 pounds and eats about 6 pounds of meat per day. They rarely drink more than once every four to ten days. Native to Africa and Southern Asia, this majestic animal has been relentlessly hunted for its coat, and fewer than 15,000 Cheetahs are left in all of Africa.

In the Cheetahs territory scientists believe that Cheetahs originated in southern Asia. A very few can still be found there and in Asia, but today most Cheetahs live on the vast plains of Africa.

There, they have plenty of room to run and keep track of their prey. At the same time, the tall grasses provide the cover to hunt successfully. Cheetah territory is also likely to include lightly wooded areas where the Cheetahs can rest safely and keep their cubs out of harm's way.

The parry grass helps the Cheetah in several ways it is one of the best objects to hide in for attack on other pray. It is also a good bedding source. The Cheetahs cubs love to romp around in the grass for play and for practice for battle when they get older. This is the best all-round plant and helpful one for the cheetah.

The Cheetah up close, the Cheetah is one of the smaller "big" cats. The largest weighs no more than 143 pounds and is probably 3.3 feet long from the shoulder to the root of its long tail. Females are usually slightly smaller than males. The outstanding feature of the Cheetah's appearance is, of course, its beautiful spotted coat. The most distinctive features of the Cheetah 's face are the dark "tear lines" running down from its eyes along both sides of its nose. These lines help break up the outline of the Cheetahs face.

What cheetahs like to eat? Like all cats, Cheetahs are carnivores, or meat eaters. They prey on Antelopes, Impalas or young Wildebeests and zebras. An adult Cheetah usually eats about 6.5 pounds of meat per day.

Mating: The cheetah has a gestation period of 93 days. The litter may have 2 - 8 cubs. At birth, the cubs are about 11.8 inches long and weigh about .6 pounds. They have a gray mantle of hair on their back, which is used for camouflage. It begins to disappear at 3 months but can still be seen in 2 years. The mother moves her cubs every day to avoid predators, but she must leave them alone to hunt. When the young are 6 weeks old they can follow a hunt. When they're 6 months old, their mother will catch the prey live for them to practice killing. The young will live with their mother for 16 - 24 months. After this the male siblings will live together and the females will leave when they reach sexual maturity. Cheetahs can be easily tamed and can be taught to play fetch. The Sumerians were the first people known to tame cheetahs. Many cheetahs were kept in the Orient, far beyond their natural habitat. Three historical figures were recorded as having cheetahs; Genghis Khan, Ackbar the Great, and Charlemagne. Ackbar had kept 9,000 cheetahs in his 45-year reign and tried to breed them. However only 1 litter was produced.

How Cheetahs Hunt. The cheetah is a carnivore that eats small antelope, gazelle, springbok, steenbok, duikers, and impala. They also eat the young of larger animals: warthogs, kudu, hartebeest, Oryx, roan, sable, birds, and rabbits. The cheetah rarely drinks more then 1 ounce every 4 to 10 days. Since the cheetah uses sight not smell it will usually sit on a termite mound or in a tree. Stalking the prey is important for the cheetah because it will usually get within 50 yards of its prey before attacking. The cheetah's full sprints usually last for about 20 seconds but never go past 1 minute. The cheetah can chase its prey for 3.5 miles at an average of 45 miles per hour. When the cheetah catches its prey it will suffocate it by biting its neck. It will sometimes hold on for as long as 5 minutes. The cheetah will eat quickly because if it is challenged it will usually lose its kill. When humans hunt with a cheetah they will blind-fold it and bring it to the prey on a cart. When they reach the prey they will then unhood it. The Cheetah will silently creep up to the prey using all the cover it can. Then suddenly it will shoot out and catch the prey. Kublia Khan had 1,000 hunting cheetahs (The Animals) the name " cheetah" applies to male and female cheetahs. There are two kinds of groups of cheetahs. One is a male group and the other is a family group. The females will live alone unless they mate with a male and have a family. Males, usually siblings, live in groups of 2 - 3. They will live and hunt together for life. Male cheetahs usually live far away from their parents and the territories can be as big as 300 square miles! The females usually live in the same area that their mother does, but they don't live together.

The Cheetah Conservation Fund .The Cheetah Conservation Fund allows you to volunteer your time to do projects and also to make donations to help cheetahs. They have a special adopt-a-cheetah program that a lot of people are involved in. This is a great organization that you can use to help cheetahs.