Masaai Mara, Kenya
The cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) is the world's fastest land mammal. With acceleration that would leave most automobiles in the dust, a cheetah can go from 0 to 60 miles an hour in only three seconds. These big cats are quite nimble at high speed and can make quick and sudden turns in pursuit of prey.
Before unleashing their speed, cheetahs use exceptionally keen eyesight to scan their grassland environment for signs of prey—especially antelope and hares. This big cat is a daylight hunter that benefits from stealthy movement and a distinctive spotted coat that allows it to blend easily into high, dry grasses.
Most wild cheetahs are found in eastern and southwestern Africa. These populations are under pressure as the wide-open grasslands they favor are disappearing at the hands of human settlers.
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