Acinonyx jubatus jubatus
Cheetahs are members of the ‘big cat’ family, even though they cannot roar. Also unlike other ‘big cats’ they can purr and don’t retract their claws fully.
Head/ body length: 1.1 to 1.5m
Cheetahs are found throughout the drier regions of sub-Saharan Africa where they inhabit woods, grassland and semi-desert areas. A small number are also found in the Kavir desert of Iran.
Cheetahs are carnivores (meat eaters) and use their amazing speed to catch prey such as gazelles and hares.
Cheetahs are pregnant for around 3 months and the female gives birth to between 2 and 4 cubs, although litters of up to 8 have been recorded! Our cheetahs are part of a European Breeding Programme and we have had cubs born at the park in 2007, 2009 and 2011.
The cheetah is vulnerable throughout its range, mainly as a result of habitat loss and persecution by man. Between 5,000 and 10,000 remain in Africa, with as few as 60 in Asia.