BIRD & ANIMAL
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.
Once ranging throughout Africa, the Middle East and India, they are now found primarily in northern and southern Africa. Cheetahs are one of the most endangered animals in the world, with less than 8,000 remaining in the wild. Threats contributing to the decline of this species include habitat loss, human wildlife conflict, and illegal wildlife trade. African Lion Safari has been dedicated to the breeding and conservation of cheetahs for over two decades.
African Lion Safari has had over 40 cheetah born at the park since May 2001. These cheetah represent second and third generation captive bred cats.
In October 2008, African Lion Safari was presented with the Baines Trophy, the highest award of Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA), for its exemplary work with its cheetahs.
In an attempt to overcome some of the existing challenges with current artificial insemination methods, African Lion Safari has recently focused its conservation efforts in the area of Assisted Reproduction.
Using positive reinforcement training techniques, African Lion Safari is pioneering a new approach to artificial insemination in cheetah so that it more closely resembles a natural breeding event.