jueves, 9 de febrero de 2017

How do cheetahs defend themselves?

(Generally speaking, cheetahs run).

Although adult cheetahs are skilled predators built for speed, as we all know, they are weaker than other big cats (lions and leopards) and hyenas which are their natural competitors. They can, and often do, steal their preys and also kill their cubs. Besides, as cheethahs rely on their speed to chase, they will not risk to fight to another predators.

I don't consider cheetahs top predators in this sense, they are really vulnerable to their competitors, according to some data they can lose up to 50% of their preys due to interlopers, and what is worst, up to 90% of their cubs are killed in the first weeks of life by wild dogs, lions, leopards, hyenas and eagles..
So the best defense against these threats is to avoid it. Cheetahs tend to hunt

in the mornings and  evenings, when enemies are dormant. It also eats immediately after it  downs its prey, before intruders such as lions, leopards, hyenas,  jackals, baboons and vultures arrive.
But in some cases cheetahs fight. For example, mother cheetahs defending their young and groups of male cheetahs teaming up to chase away other predators such as servals:


Here is a video of a mother cheetah confronting a wandering lioness to defend her cubs (in this case the cheetah seems to have notice the relaxed pace of the lioness and taken advantage of it, there are also some other videos of lions and lionesses kiling cheetahs, but I have preferred this one as an example of how brave can be cheethahs in some ocassions):




A great place to know about cheetahs, and their conservation:

Cheetah Conservation Fund

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