Their prey is var­ied

World of Animals - - 30 Amazing Facts About Cheetahs -

The African sa­van­nah boasts an im­mense ar­ray of an­i­mals, and the chee­tah takes ad­van­tage of this. All big cats are strict car­ni­vores, and chee­tahs en­joy a wide va­ri­ety of prey rather than spe­cial­is­ing in a small hand­ful of species.

Chee­tahs favour medium-sized un­gu­lates such as Thom­son’s gazelle, but they will feast on an­i­mals as large as gi­raffes if they are des­per­ate. A sin­gle kick from these lop­ing vege­tar­i­ans could kill a chee­tah, so tar­get­ing less dan­ger­ous prey is the pre­ferred ap­proach.

A chee­tah’s di­etary de­mands sup­port a level of ac­tiv­ity that is re­mark­ably sim­i­lar to an av­er­age hu­man burn­ing 2,000 calo­ries on a daily ba­sis. Chee­tahs typ­i­cally eat around 2.8 kilo­grams (6.2 pounds) of meat ev­ery day, which is the equiv­a­lent of ten chicken breasts. These big cats have been ob­served eat­ing ten kilo­grams (22 pounds) in a sin­gle sit­ting, which equates to seven ro­tis­serie chick­ens one af­ter another!

Only fresh meat is ac­cept­able to a chee­tah, so the car­ni­vore gorges it­self as quickly as pos­si­ble be­fore another preda­tor can swoop in to scav­enge. The car­cass is aban­doned once the chee­tah has stopped eat­ing and a fresh kill is made the next day.

The chee­tah is de­signed to pull down prey many times larger than it­self, but small or vul­ner­a­ble an­i­mals make for an eas­ier hunt

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