MOTHER & CUBS - THE CHEETAH - Acinonyx jabatus - Jagluiperd

Magriet Meintjes

TOLWE, South Africa

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Dedicated to Daan, my husband, that passed away on 17th January 2013, with his last visit to the KNPARK, sOUTH aFRICA

With my last visit with my husband to Kruger during December 2012, he could not go with me on early morning drives, but would say “Today you take this road and I want to see a capture of cheetah or lions when you get back!” He was to sick to join in these early morning drives but enjoyed every minute looking at all the captures when I got back after downloading them on my laptop. This morning I got my instructions and left and came across this cheetah mother with her two cups! I spent almost two hours, on my own, taking photos of her and the two cups, needless to say that is was magic!

Met ons laaste besoek aan die Park in Desember 2012 kon my dierbare man nie meer saam met my op vroee oggend ritte gaan nie maar het elke oggend vir my gese watter roete ek moet neem en van watter diere hy met my terugkoms wou fotos sien! Met my aankoms moes ek dadelik al die fotos aflaai op my skootrekenaar en het hy elke minuut saam met my geniet wanneer ons elke foto bekyk en bespreek het, soos hierdie oggend wat ek op die Jagluiperd en haar twee welpies afgekom het Ek het die voorreg gehad om vir amper twee uur by haar en die welpies deur te bring, dit was so ’n ongelooflike voorreg en ek deel dit graag!

Nikon D50
2012/12/08 07:43:06.1
RAW (12-bit)
Lens: VR 80-400mm F/4.5-5.6 D
Focal Length: 330mm
1/500 sec – F/5.6
Sensitivity: ISO 200

CHEETAH – Acinonyx jabatus – Die Jagluiperd

The streamlined and elegant cheetah, although purported to attain speeds of over 100 km per hour, can probably not exceed the speed of 75 km per hour for short stretches, but is, nevertheless the fleetest animal on earth.
Their claws, unlike other cats of the region, are not able to be retracted. They are terrestrial animals, utilising stout sloping tree trunks to rest on and use as observation posts. Predominantly diurnal they are most active in early morning and late afternoon. In hot weather they rest in the heat of the day, preferring and elevated position from where they can keep an eye out for danger. They are more solitary than social animals. Males form strongly cohesive bachelor groups. The females are not joined by the males except during oestrus.
Vocalisation is a curious chirruping, rather like a birdcall. This may be accompanied by a ‘chirr’ sound. When content they purr loudly and growls, cough, hiss or snarl. They raise the hair on their back when they threaten.
Cheetahs are not aggressive towards each other except where males battle over female in oestrus. These can be serious skirmishes which may leave one of the contestants dead. Their habitat preferences are open plains, savannah woodland and semi-desert
Their bad record of difficult breeding has been ascribed variously to an inbred genetic difficulty and, by some zoologists, to the possible occurrence of a serious plague in times past which wiped out most of the cheetah leaving very few survivors and insufficient unrelated individuals to perpetuate a very viable gene pool. This would have inhibited successful ongoing breeding. They also have a complicated courtship process, which further increases the breeding problem.
The beautiful king cheetah is a genetically aberrant animal which occasionally manifests in populations of cheetah in central and southern Zimbabwe, Eastern Botswana, North Eastern, Northern and Western Transvaal.
Gestation period: +/- 93 days
Young: one – six, usually two to four
Mass: male 50kg, female 40kg
Length: male 200cm female 190cm
Life expectancy: 16 years

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