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Cheetahs!
sponsored by Naples Daily News


She was born in the Netherlands. After traveling to the United States, she came to Naples to enjoy a tropical retirement.

With a limited number of cheetahs in the nation, there were many choices for where she could live. Southwest Florida can be proud the Species Survival Plan® selected our nationally accredited facility for her care. Long known for husbandry expertise with felids, our staff enjoys the opportunity to provide care for this aging cat.

When she arrived with a male in 2012, they were both already about double the lifespan of their cousins in the wild. Even so, digestive issues, a form of dementia, and finally failing kidneys took their toll on the male. He passed away on December 18, 2014 surrounded by the tearful keepers and veterinarian who had provided such wonderful care in his final years. He was just a few days shy of his sixteenth birthday and one of the oldest cheetahs in the country. Although our female cheetah is just a year younger, she is in good health.

To help cheetahs in the wild, the Naples Zoo Conservation Fund supports cheetah conservation through the African People and Wildlife Fund.

 

Cheetah-Mara
A cheetah in the Maasai Mara
in Kenya. Photographed by Larry W. Richardson on a Naples Zoo safari
hosted by Tauck and AAA Travel.

Speed at a Cost
Cheetahs can achieve speeds greater than 100 feet a second. That’s an endzone to endzone touchdown in 3 seconds! But this speed comes at a cost. Their respiratory rate climbs from 60 breaths per minute to 150, while heat production skyrockets more than fiftyfold. Unable to dissipate the heat, cheetahs must catch their prey in about 300 yards - if not, they go hungry.

Cheetah running

Cheetahs are known to achieve speeds of 70 mph (112km/h)

Cheetahs are also fast eaters. And they need to be. Their lithe build is no match for scavenging lions, leopards, and hyenas. Besides stealing a meal, these predators will kill adult cheetahs and their cubs.

In some areas nearly three-quarters of cubs die in the first 8 weeks of life - before they even leave the den. On average in East Africa, a mother is able to rear less than 2 cubs to independence in her entire lifetime.

In the Serengeti, male cheetahs live an average of just over 5 years of age. Outside the wild, cheetah infant mortality is negligible and lifespans regulalry double the average of their counterparts in the wild.

On behalf of all who enjoy cheetahs, many thanks must go to our donors and to exhibit sponsor Naples Daily News.

Cheetah Donors
Dr. Craig and Mrs. Kathy Fenton, Ms. Jeanne Guglielmi, Mr. Jonathan and Mrs. Nancy Hamill, Mr. John and Mrs. Paulette Kempfer, Mr. Don and Mrs. Connie Malenick, The Martin Foundation, Mr. John and Mrs. Connie Miller, Mrs. Linda H. and Mr. Robert Ottenad, Mr. Benton and Mrs. Joan Tolley, and Mrs. Linda Wheeler.

 

 

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