The cheetah is the fastest land animal in the world, clocking in at a top speed of nearly 70 miles per hour. However, cheetahs can only run this fast for a short amount of time. Cheetahs require a specialised habitat to survive and hunt their prey successfully. Cheetahs are on the endangered species list due to changes in their habitat and because of poachers and farmers.
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Cheetahs live primarily in Africa, but some can be found living in Iran, Niger and Algeria. Over 10,000 years ago cheetahs lived in many more areas and even continents, including Europe, North America and Asia, but they no longer have a natural habitat in these areas due to climate changes at the end of the Ice Age.
Cheetahs are found mostly in grasslands near deserts. They can live in conditions that are similar to deserts or in sparsely wooded areas. Cheetahs do not live in forests, rainforests or wetlands. They prefer more open areas that have brush, mounds and other obstacles so that they can stalk their prey. Cheetahs like open areas so that they can view their prey from a distance and then chase them down.
Having ample prey available is what ultimately determines where a cheetah can survive and, of course, an area where it can stalk and chase down its prey. Cheetahs pick out the smallest animal in a herd, and typically the size of their prey is less than 40.8 Kilogram. Cheetahs prey on gazelles, antelopes, wildebeest and birds. Also, in some areas close to farmland they hunt consume cattle and sheep.
Cheetahs are now fighting extinction because of being hunted for their fur and shot by farmers that are protecting their livestock. Also, cheetahs are having a harder time surviving because of farms and fenced in areas, giving them less room for their natural habitat. They no longer have as much room to stalk and hunt their prey as they used to. However, some places have protected habitats or national parks for cheetahs and other animals to live in.
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