If you’ve ever pondered, ‘What do cheetahs eat?’ you’ve come to the right place! Many animal enthusiasts are fascinated by cheetahs, the world’s fastest land creatures. Their remarkable speed alters their hunting habits significantly compared to other large cats.
Unraveling The Hunting Habits of Cheetahs
Instead of the traditional stalking and ambush method of hunting seen in other large felines, cheetahs leverage their unique speed. After casually approaching their prey, their fast sprint is activated once they’re within 100 meters proximity.
Due to the cheetah’s blistering acceleration, many of their prey fall victim despite having a head start. Gazelles constitute a majority of the cheetah’s meals given their inability to match the cheetah’s speed, despite reaching up to 50 miles per hour themselves.
Clues to the Cheetah’s Diverse Diet
In addition to gazelles, the cheetah’s menu also comprises of:
The young of larger species, such as wildebeests, are sometimes part of the cheetah’s carnivorous diet. Weighing about 85 pounds on average, these felines consume around six to nine pounds of meat per day. It’s also noteworthy that their meals are spaced out over a few days.
Cheetah’s Diet: Wild vs. Captivity
Curious about what cheetahs eat while in captivity? Unlike their wild counterparts, these carnivores are fed daily. Their diet often consists of ground meat complemented by soft bones. Interestingly, some captive cheetahs do enjoy a fruity change of taste with watermelon and cantaloupe often on the menu.
Predators of Cheetahs: Threats to Species Survival
With the cheetah diet mainly consisting of smaller, more fleeting mammals, you might wonder if these speedsters have predators themselves. A dwindling population due to a 10% cub survival rate in the wild reveals harsh realities. They face threats from lions, tigers, hyenas, and birds of prey. Sadly, human activities pose the most existential threat to these beautiful creatures through illegal hunting and habitat loss.
Maintaining Cheetah Populations: Our Shared Responsibility
As integral members of the food chain, ensuring the survival of cheetahs is our shared responsibility. Let’s continue to learn more about these speedy creatures and spread the knowledge we gain!