Leopards, jaguars, snow leopards, pumas, lions, tigers and cheetahs

Cheetah or Hunting Leopard

The cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) is very different from all other cats, much more long-legged with blunt and partially retractile claws - that is, they cannot be completely withdrawn into the sheaths.

Cheetahs are the fastest of all mammals; they are said to reach 70 mph. The cheetah may be over 2 metres long, but is much lighter than the leopard, weighing only 45kg.

It is found in Africa and Asia but it is now very rare in Asia and is rapidly disappearing in Africa. It is, in fact, an animal that is threatened with extinction - according to the ICUN red list, cheetahs, overall, are labeled as 'vulnerable'. Cheetahs can be tamed and are sometimes kept as pets. The Indian princes used to keep them and train them to hunt deer and antelopes. They live for about 16 years.

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