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The least commanding of the great African cats, the cheetah is an unassuming, amicable, even timid creature. The cheetah is named from the Hindi word “chita” meaning spotted. Lightweight, strong and fine boned with a small elegant head and long legs, the cheetah is built for speed reaching 90-100 km/hr in short sprints. Over short distances the cheetah is the fastest ground animal on earth. Unlike all other cats, their claws are only semi-retractable which provides a high degree of traction for running and launching attacks.
Cheetah are one of the most endangered animals in the world. There is an estimated 12,000 cheetah remaining in the wild.
Once ranging throughout Africa, the Middle East and India, they are now found in eastern and southern Africa with the largest population found in Namibia. The greatest threat facing the cheetah is loss of its habitat.
African Lion Safari has been dedicated to the breeding and conservation of cheetah for over two decades. African Lion Safari is pleased to have had over 40 cheetah born at the park since May 2001. These cheetah represent second and third generation captive bred cats.
In October 2008 the Baines Trophy, the highest award of Canada's Accredited Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA), was presented to African Lion Safari for its exemplary work with its cheetahs.
It is African Lion Safari’s hope that with the addition of these cheetah, that its successful breeding programme for this endangered species will continue to provide healthy species for future generations.