“At five months the cubs begin to play fight and practice the skills they will need later in life to become killing machines”
Cheetahs are (almost) social cats
Most adult females live solitary lives aside from when they have cubs to feed. Males from the same litter form groups called coalitions in which they hunt together. Adolescent females may join their brothers if the litter was predominantly female. There is little aggression between group members during feeding aside from growling, and the cats help one another to survive the tough African plains.
Cheetahs come in four distinct varieties
All four share the scientific name Acinonyx jubatus, but each has a third name to identify it. Along with having their own names, the cheetah subspecies are divided by geography. The Southern African cheetah is the ‘true’ form of the species. As the name suggests, it inhabits the tip of Africa from South Africa all the way up to Kenya.
The Asiatic cheetah diverged 0.3 to 0.7 million years ago. Once found throughout much of Central Asia, it now occurs in three subpopulations in Iran.
Northeast African cheetahs live in South Sudan, Ethiopia and Eritrea. As little as 16,000 years separate it from the other subspecies, including the Northwest African cheetah. Less than 250 animals make up this type of big cat, spread across Algeria, Niger and Burkina Faso.