If ever an animal was born to run, it's the cheetah. They have been clocked at 60 and 70 miles per hour and can reach 45 miles per hour in 2.5 seconds! As big cats go, cheetahs are smaller and have an elegant build compared to lions and tigers, but they are built for the chase.
There are few areas in the world where you can still see cheetahs in the wild. From a worldwide population of 100,000 in 1900, there are now only about 10,000 left, with about 10% of those living in zoos or wildlife parks. The largest wild population lives in Namibia while the rest are scattered in small, isolated pockets in about 20 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and about 200 live in Iran.
As with many animals, one of the greatest threats to cheetahs is habitat loss, because with that comes the loss of prey. They are also hunted for their beautiful spotted coats, and farmers and ranchers may kill them because they see the cheetah as a nuisance species that kills their livestock.
Fortunately, San Diego Zoo Global has one of the most successful cheetah breeding programs in the world. Since 1981, our facility has had more than 140 cheetah cub births!
Read some firsthand experiences working with endangered species.
Your Participation and Support in Action
Your participation will allow us to continue our work with breeding cheetahs at the Safari Park, where our goal is to build insulated nursing dens for mother cheetahs and their cubs, in addition to furthering our wildlife conservation efforts around the globe.
Name Our Next Cheetah Cub!
Pounce on this once in a lifetime opportunity!
Be our overall top fundraiser and win the chance to name our next cheetah cub!
- Top fundraiser must raise at least $2,500 to qualify
- Name must be approved by San Diego Zoo Global