Cheetah

 

 

 

Cheetahs are famed as the fastest of all African felines. They occur in all savanna areas of Namibia. Cheetahs stand about 80 cm / 32 inch at the shoulder, with a mass of about 50 kg / 110 lb. They are said to reach an instant speed of about 100 km/h / 62 mph when disturbed. Hiding in the grass or creeping up to their prey, these predominantly diurnal hunters are often difficult to spot. The female is usually accompanied by cubs and "Youngsters", whereas the male is solitary. However, this seems to depend on the availability of preferred prey: If bigger prey is predominantly caught, cheetahs also hunt in bigger troops.

The biggest cheetah population, about 4.000 animals, is found on Namibian farmland where they have almost no natural enemies.
Should other predators occur, many of the cubs will fall victim, having been left alone by their hunting parents. Cubs are very cute and often giving themselves away by chirping like birds.  

Namibian stock-breeders claim that cheetahs, who, unlike other felines cannot retract their claws, cause an annual damage of about 350.000 to 500.000 US$ through feeding on game, especially springbok, cattle calves, karakul sheep, and goats. This explains why they are not particular popular among the farming community. Cheetah trophies, which have been hunted on an official permit in Namibia, may be exported to most countries in the world, provided hunters hold the required import permit for their respective country of origin. Earnings from hunting indemnify the farmer at least partly for damage caused by cheetahs, it is therefore in his own interest not to shoot every cheetah causing damage on his land. But in spite of such considerations it is very difficult to hunt for a cheetah in a strategic manner, since cheetahs are non-territorial and roam large areas. Usually, they do not return to their killed prey to eat the rest of it. Waiting for the animal to come back a second time, can therefore prove to be disappointing.
 


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