The cheetah is the world’s fastest land mammal. The cheetah can run at a top speed of approximately 113km/h (~70 mph), and they can reach this top speed in just 3 seconds! Today, the cheetah’s survival is threatened and the species is now becoming one of Africa’s most endangered “big cats”.
The leopard is a member of the Felidae family and is the smallest of the classified “Big Cats” There are 9 recognised subspecies of leopard, all subspecies except the African leopard are found in Asia, South Asia and India.
Servals are a medium sized wild cat found in most African countries south of the Sahara. They can be found in grasslands near water and are reasonably common, although their numbers are dropping due to hunting and habitat loss.
Panthera tigris altaica
The Siberian tiger, a subspecies of tiger, is the largest cat in the world. It averages about 3.3 m (11 ft.) in length, with a tail measuring 1 m (3 ft.). Adult male Siberian tigers can weigh up to 350 kg. Siberian tigers are considered endangered by IUCN’s Red List, and are poached or illegally hunted for their fur and for body parts that are used for traditional medicines.
The carcal is a medium sized wild cat found mostly in the drier savannah and woodland regions of sub-Saharan Africa. They have black ears with long thin hair on the tip of their ears to help whilst hunting. Unfortunately caracals are seen as a pests by farmers because they kill chickens, sheep and goats.
The puma holds the Guinness World Record for animal with the most number of names. It is commonly known not just as the puma, but also as the cougar and the mountain lion.
In fact, the species has got over 40 names in English alone!
Timber wolves were brought to South Africa to breed with German Shepherds, in order to create a police dog with a better sense of smell. Wolves can range in colour, from black, to grey to white, and have also been found in different brown colours.
Felis silvestris lybica
Todays’ domestic cats are believed to be descendants of the African Wildcat. Conservation status is currently listed as least concern on the IUCN Red list, however a major threat to the existence of the cat is crossbreeding with domestic and feral cats. It is becoming quite rare to come across a pure bred African Wildcat.
Bat-eared Foxes are native to South Africa. Their large ears help them to cool off in the hot African savannah plus they can hear very well!
Bat-eared Foxes are most active during the early morning and evening when it is coolest. When they are not about digging for tasty insects to eat they will be curled up a sleep.
Cheetah Experience regularly takes in animals in need of help. We often have a variety of different antelopes, owls and birds of prey. We take care of them until we can release them back into the wild or find a rehabilitation facility where they can be relocated.
Some of these animals find sanctuary at Cheetah Experience and become a part of the family for the rest of their natural lives.