Sightings of cheetah in certain areas of the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve are far and few between, in fact, it is very rare. This is because the reserve doesn’t provide the ideal or preferred habitat, namely short and open woodland as well as grass savannah. However, a fine specimen of this specie was recently spotted and it was indeed a welcome occurrence.
Way back in 1976 there was a suggestion that the KPNR, which was officially proclaimed as a nature reserve in 1972, be made available as a cheetah sanctuary. Cheetahs from Namibia (then South West Africa) were to be translocated to the Klaserie as well as problem cheetah from the Soutpansberg. Nature Conservation, however, indicated that the boundary fence had to be made elephant as well as cheetah proof. The Reserve could not finance a venture of this nature and the cheetah sanctuary was shelved.
Currently there are calls for the status of the cheetah to be declared as endangered as just over 7 000 of these animals remain in the wild. There are even predictions of a further decline of 53% over the next 15 years.
South Africa is estimated to be home to between 600 and a thousand cheetah.
Interesting cheetah facts:
1. They can reach a top speed of more than a 100 km/h in just three seconds.
2. While running at this top speed, they put in strides of between 6-7 metres with their feet only touching the ground twice.
3. According to a 2014 study cheetah only spend about 12 percent of their day being active.
4. A cheetah can’t roar like the other big cats; it purrs instead, making almost bird-like sounds.
5. Cheetah cubs have a mantle, long hair running from their neck to their tail which makes them almost look like a honey badger and is a deterrent to threats to may face.
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