Yesterday evening I had an unusual sighting. Two Cheetah males were drinking at a waterhole and a Giraffe bull was feeding of a tree just above them on the dam wall. They were aware of one another but decided that the distance between them was enough for comfort.
In most encounters of these two species which I have observed previously they would not have deemed this distance enough and one or the other would have moved off.
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.