Cheetahs are certainly one of nature's most beautiful creatures. Their wonderful spotted fur coats, sleek graceful bodies and delicately drawn details of their faces make them one of my favorites. This one lives at the Columbus Zoo in a wonderful habitat that gives them lots of freedom to run and feel like they are in the wild. But! They have companions: dogs, who grow up with them from birth, which make them very different from their relatives in the wild. These brave little puppies grow up with their feline friends and become a calming influence over them, enabling these big cats to travel to schools and public events. The dogs are relaxed with humans and so the cats feel that and they are calm too.
Cheetahs are adapted for brief and intense bursts of speed. They have wiry bodies with small heads. Their coats are golden or yellowish, with many small black spots. Their long tails have a few black bands and sometimes a long white tip. Black strips run from their eyes down to the corners of their mouths.
They are carnivorous and weigh between 80~150 pounds. They only live about 11 years and efforts are underway to revitalize this animal's population in the world.
Let's hope that effort is successful! This image is also available in full color. You can find it in my Gallery called, "Series."
January 14th, 2016
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