The cheetah of South Africa “Cheetah Outreach” education center

Still in South Africa, very close to Cape Town this time, I had the joy, some time ago, to visit the Cheetah Outreach education center, where on relatively small property, there is a breeding center for cheetah (and few other wild species), which also serves as education center, and where a team of dedicated staff can teach you about this magnificent wild animal and also give you the chance of a close encounter! (all free of stress for the animal). More details here, highly recommended if you live around the area, or just visiting Cape Town: www.cheetah.co.za

The cheetah is one of the big cats, specialized in hunting some of the fastest pray in the African savanna (initial territory range of this animal included Asia and Middle East, but this has been drastically reduced). He is the fastest land mammal on planet, reaching more than 100 km per hour in few seconds, a truly formula 1 of the wild world. But this specialization came with a cost, his light body cannot sustain the speed for longer period of time, leading to over-heating, and also couldnt compete with other predators for protecting its prey once hunted, being smaller in size and couldnt afford any wounds, he quickly gives away the food once the first hyena, leopard or lion comes around!

As he prefers hunting during the day, to reduce competition from majority of other predators, you may be lucky enough to spot him hunting while in a safari trip, although their number in the wild being at few thousands, they can be a rare sight! Apart from threats from loss of territory and poisoning by the farmers who want to protect their live stock, this wonderful animal now faces also the consequences/risks of inter-breeding, the species reducing its genes pool variety, making the species more vulnerable to diseases! This is common to wild animals that are isolated or because they were once on bridge of extinction and the come-back happened from a very small population where individuals were related/family!

It will definitely help if visiting the center, staying educated, and making a small material contribution to the further research, protection, breeding and education of the human population! The loss of such precious wild animal would be a catastrophe for sure!

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