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Happy international cheetah day! Today is a special day for one of the most beloved animals and VERY dear to my heart. It is unfortunate that the cheetah, is the most endangered one in Africa. =( There is less than 10,000 cheetahs remaining in the wild.

Some reasons why the cheetahs are disappearing so quickly is due to loss of natural habitat,human/wildlife conflict, and illegal wildlife trade. A big problem too which I see pretty often is that cheetahs, although quick, they are the underdog in the African wild cat family. Cheetahs raise their heart rate to run at about 70 mph for short periods of time to catch their food. They have to wait for their heart rate to calm down and catch their breath to begin eating. The issue with that is that out in the open, any other predator can smell, sense, and see the cheetahs feeding and will take over. The cheetah has no choice but to forfeit its meal.

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Lots of cheetahs don’t survive. The cheetah cubs have a 90% mortality rate! Even living in a protected area, they have to share land with other predators like the lions, leopards, and such, but hyenas also are a threat. So, for that reason some live outside of the protected area and that’s where they deal with humans. Since there are many farmers who depend on their livestock for their livelihood, whenever a predator is present, they obviously take action to protect their farms.

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A MAJOR problem I see that we can do something about is the illegal wildlife trade. Lots of people from around the world still feel they need to prove their status on this earth and have cheetahs as pets. In the old days having a cheetah as a pet meant you had money and power. So people capture and take cheetahs from the wild since they do not breed well in captivity. This is probably the problem causing the most damage as to why there aren’t as many cheetahs in the wild anymore. (info from cheetah.org)

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Cheetahs are easily distinguished from others with their dark black spots. Their short blunt claws work like cleats on the track to get good grip and traction for running. Their spine is special, and their shoulder bones don’t connect to their collar bones to allow better flexibility. They have a very long tail that works as a rudder, and their tear marks, or strip, protects their eyes from the glare of the sun. Where do you think football players got that black strip under the eye idea? 😉

There are many ways you can help out the cheetahs and protect the ones that are left. You can head over to cheetah.org There are many ways you can help them out. =) Anything you do can make a difference. Check out Cheetah Conservation Fund for ways to participate in cheetah day. Animals are a VERY important part to this planet, and we must do what we can to protect them. Please help the cheetahs!

Want to know why everyone calls me the cheetah? For many reasons. Obviously, one being that they hold a huge place in my heart ❤ Also because the cheetahs are the underdogs. They have the speed, they have the muscles, but they can only hold fast speeds for a short period of time. I am an underdog in the running community. I don’t have the muscles, or the body to run but I do it anyway. I also have a problem running slow. It sounds weird I know, but I am a fast runner…for short distances. I have actually had a hard time training at a slower pace. I have the same issue as cheetahs where I can run fast, but need to stop shortly after starting to catch my breath and slow my heart rate down to a manageable level. It started as a joke from Alpha. He used to tell me to get my cheetah speed under control until he started calling me cheetah.

cheetahHAPPY CHEETAH DAY!

-cheetah g

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