Cheetahs neither fit into the ‘big cat’ or ‘small cat’ categories and as such belong to their own genus Acinonyx. Often mistaken for leopards, the cheetah has a very different body shape, being very narrow and lightweight with long slender limbs. Along with this the coat is covered in single spotted markings very unlike the leopards heavily rosetted coat. Paired with their distinctive tear-drop facial markings the cheetah are one of the most easily identifiable felids. They are currently the worlds fastest land mammals, capable of reaching speeds of up to 68mph with a stride of 7 metres. Although capable of reaching such speeds, they can only be maintained for a short period of time.
Ref: KCS 2018
Location: Big Cat Sanctuary in Kent
Photographer: Paul Russell