King Cheetah

Today I saw my first King Cheetah!

I arrived in Hoedspruit a bit earlier than expected so I visited the Hoedspruit Engangered Species Center. This institution is successfully breeding various engangered species. Their main focus are Cheetahs and I was lucky to see a King Cheetah (A rare Cheetah mutation) stalking a small boy who shouted a bit too loudly and attracted the Cheetah’s attention (no worries there, was a fence between the animal and the boy :-)).

More about King Cheetah:

The King Cheetah is a rare mutation of Cheetah characterized by a distinct fur pattern. In 1927, the naturalist Reginald Innes Pocock declared it a separate species, but reversed this decision in 1939 due to lack of evidence. Its species status was resolved in 1981 when King Cheetahs were born at the De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Centre in South Africa. Two spotted sisters gave birth there and each litter contained one King Cheetah. The sisters had both mated with a wild-caught male. A recessive gene must be inherited from both parents for this pattern to appear, which is one reason why it is so rare.

8 Replies to “King Cheetah”

  1. Beautiful markings on this King Cheetah. Thanks for sharing the pictures and the information about this cat, I had never heard of this cat before now. He looks alittle bit thicker in the hips than the regular cheetah.Pure muscle in those hind legs(pure power). Have a great one and be safe handling those snakes!!

  2. I am continually amazed at your wonderful information and insight! The photos are great!

    Thanks Kathy

  3. These are awesome images, Christian, of an awesome-looking cat. First I’ve seen or heard of this mutation in a cheetah. Quite handsome, yes? Thanks for posting these.

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