Cheetah and Cub
Learn more about Acinonyx jubatus from the Encyclopedia of Life
By Richard Rothstein
Lakewood Ranch, Florida, USA
Female cheetahs live alone unless they are caring for
young. They can give birth to litters of 3 to 4 cubs that
stay in lairs hidden by tall grasses or in rocky areas
when the mothers forage for food. Cheetah cubs are
born with a “mantle” of hair on their backs that may
also help camouflage them during their first months.
After 8 weeks of age, the young accompany the mother
on the hunt. Females tend to remain in the same home
range once the young leave the nest, while males leave
and form “coalitions” with other males in search of
territories to claim.
“This vigilant mother was grooming her cub. When
she was finished, the youngster turned and glared
intensely in my direction.” —BB
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III; 500mm ƒ/4 lens; 1.4x tele-extender;
1/320 sec at ƒ/5.6; ISO 400; beanbag.