Cheetahs are the fasted land mammal – their body is designed for sprinting. Their slender, streamlined body allows fast runs and their flexible spine and long legs enable the cat to take big strides. They also have over-sized lungs, heart, and breathing passages, so they’re able to pump more oxygen during runs. Their long tail acts like a counter balance when running, and semi-retractable claws provide better traction during sprints. Exercise is essential for these cats and is a part of husbandry that cannot be compromised on. Not only does the activity help to maintain a healthy physical condition, but it also provides excellent mental stimulation.
Cheetah Experience has recently had to access to a pully or lure system where we attach a toy or a piece of rag on the end of a rope. With the help of a motor connected up to a car battery, the rope runs very fast, changing direction constantly and drawing the attention of our cheetahs. A lure moving at high speed represents an artificial prey item that the cheetah can pursue, therefore allowing it to perform an important hunting behavior within a captive setting.
The cheetahs benefit from it in different ways such as: it helps them to build muscle as well as using some of the muscle that they aren’t using every day. By doing this their stamina improves a lot which will benefit their health. Enrichment is something we do for our animals on a daily basis on the farm, either walking the young cheetahs or running, this way we can stimulate their natural behaviours and we get to witness these elegant animals doing exactly what their body was built for.