Etosha National Park, Namibia, Africa

Graceful African cheetah sits in high grass alone and surveying its surroundings. The predator sits on the right-hand side of this grassland while looking over its shoulder.

copyright Anette Mossbacher, 4 June, 2020

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This photograph was captured with a Canon EOS-1D Mark IV and a lens. The following settings were used:

  • Aperture: ƒ/7.1
  • Exposure time: 1/6400s
  • ISO: 800
  • Focal Length: 600mm

The original photograph has the following dimensions: 4756 by 2378 pixels (WxH).

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Background

Graceful African cheetah sits in high grass alone and surveying its surroundings. Additionally, its mouth is open, looking over its shoulder back to the camera. The predator sits on the right-hand side of this grassland, while it draws our attention. Vast grassland of the African savannah surrounds this beautiful, elusive cheetah.

You will often find cheetah in open grassland, as their biggest advantage is their speed. A cheetah’s speed is explosive. Then again, their biggest downfall is their stamina. It will only manage a high-speed chase for about 250 meters / 820 feet before it needs to stop and catch its breath. The African cheetah will then need to rest for half an hour after a hunt, even before eating its’ catch. Even though they are the fastest land animal, they still rely on the element of surprise. Different from leopard and lion, the cheetah hunts small to medium-sized prey. Cheetahs focus on small gazelles, the young of larger animals, ground birds, warthogs, hares, and porcupines. The African cheetah will sit in high grass disguised so that their prey cannot see them. They will sit at high points, like rocks or anthill mounds, and watch for the perfect moment to attack. Ideally, cheetahs need between 1 – 3 kg / 2.2 – 6.6 lbs of meat a day to stay in shape, experts believe. Unlike other significant carnivores, cheetahs hunt during the day.

The African cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus, is in category vulnerable in the IUCN red list.

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