The Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) is generally a creature of open country, but it also occurs in open woodland areas. The genus name, Acinonyx, means "no-move-claw" in Greek and highlights a significant feature of the Cheetah in that it is unable to retract its claws and therefore cannot grip. It is the only feline with this characteristic. Another feature is the small, rounded head with distinctive black bands running from the forehead through the inside of the eyes to the front of the mouth. The tail is about one third of the total length of the animal with the end having black rings and a white tip. It is known to have the fastest land speed of any living animal—up to 120km/h (75mph), in short bursts. It has the ability to accelerate from 0 to over 100km/h (62mph) in three seconds. In the Kruger National Park, is easier to photograph animals in the winter, as the vegetation is brown and not as lush as it is in the summer months. The deciduous trees also lose their leaves, so it is much easier to spot animals such as the cheetah.
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Kruger National Park, South Africa
Clive Rathband FRPS FPSSA EFIAP