Let’s talk about big cats – the honorary members!

Beside the five official members of the genus Panthera (Tiger, Lion, Jaguar, Leopard and Snow Leopard) there are five more cat species which do not quite fit into the ‘small cat definition’ as they are rather large and/or have very special features.

I will introduce these over the next few days. Let’s start today with the fastest land animal: The Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus).

It is the only cat fully adapted for speed instead of power. It cannot roar and misses other big car traits. It is therefore classified in its own genus. I took this Cheetah portrait a few years ago at Thanda Safari.

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Just as a major rain storm approach I ran into these two Cheetahs on the S-50 near the Mopani Rest Camp in the Kruger National Park.

A few minutes later the sun was gone and I could hardly see the road in the heavy rain.

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What an experience!

Following a Cheetah mum and her cub on her hunt …

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These three Cheetah cubs are growing up very quickly. I love watching them playing around mum!

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From my archives: When mum disciplined her cub because it gave her this look back. Most people would melt away and forget what just happened when subjected to these eyes, but Cheetah mums are of sterner stuff 😊

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