The cheetah has non-retractable claws and paw pads that disallow gripping, so they cannot climb vertical trees, although they are generally capable of reaching easily accessible branches. The cheetah has the fastest land speed of any living animal: 112-120 km/h (70-75 mph) in short bursts covering distances up to 500 m (1600 ft); this cat can accelerate from 0 to over 100 km/h (62 mph) in three seconds. Females give birth to up to nine cubs, although the average litter size is three to five. Cubs weigh 150-300 g (5.3-11 oz) at birth. Unlike some other cats, the cheetah is born with its characteristic spots. Cubs are also born with a downy underlying fur on their necks, called a mantle, extending to mid-back. This gives them a mane or Mohawk-type appearance; this fur is shed as the cheetah grows older. It has been speculated this mane gives a cheetah cub the appearance of the honey badger, to scare away potential aggressors. Cubs leave their mother between 13-20 months after birth. Life span is up to 12 years in the wild, but up to 20 years in captivity.
Kruger National Park
We came upon this baby cheetah, who had obviously lost his/her mom. The baby was calling and calling. A bit further up the road, we spotted the mother; she was turning her head back and forth listening. She finally sat down and kept listening; we hoped that she found the baby later.
Lat: -23.27, Long: 30.99
Spotted on Jun 28, 2009
Submitted on Sep 19, 2012
and 10 other people favorited this spotting