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Cheetah

Acinonyx jubatus

PZ Misc 14 04 21 AD LR 17
IUCN Conservation Status –
Least Concern
Extinct In The Wild
Class: Mammals
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae

Paignton Zoo is currently home to two cheetahs: male Kitwana and female Jahzara. The pair live together in their exhibit at the top end of the zoo.

The agile cheetah is the world’s fastest land mammal, native to savannahs and grasslands across eastern and southern Africa.

These big cats are carnivores, feeding mainly on gazelles and other small and medium-sized ungulates such as impala.

Interesting facts!

  • Cheetahs can’t roar, but they can purr like domestic cats on inhale and exhale.
  • The long tail of a cheetah acts like a rudder, keeping the animal balanced and helping them to change direction when running at top speed.
  • You may be able to spot the black ‘tear marks’ on the face of a cheetah – these are said to reflect the glare of the sun!

Conservation

Habitat loss and hunting are the top threats facing cheetahs in the wild today. There is also a very low variation of genetics within the species which hinders their continued survival.

Our cheetahs are part of the EAZA ex-situ breeding programme (EEP) for the species.