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I Didn't Know That...

Anonymous's picture
I Didn't Know That...

Have you caught a glimpse of the two cheetahs that have been hanging around NK? Beautiful, graceful and rarely seen, their history is interesting as well. The cheetah has been around much longer than the other big cats, originating about 4,000,000 years ago. The oldest fossils of this cat place it in North America, specifically in the areas now known as Wyoming, Nevada and Texas. Cheetahs were common throughout Asia, Africa, Europe and North America until about 10,000 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age. It was during that time that all cheetah in North America and Europe vanished, while the few remaining survivors were in Asia and Africa. Some experts believe inbreeding amongst those few may have led to the present day state of cheetah genetics. All cheetahs alive today appear to be as closely related as identical twins. Most wild cheetahs are now found in eastern and southwestern Africa, with an estimated population of between 7,000 and 10,000. Encroaching development of their habitats is making it very difficult for the surviving cheetahs to stave off extinction. While they managed to survive the last Ice Age, they may have a more difficult time surviving the carelessness of man and his continued need to destroy the delicate balance of nature. If you missed the cheetah sighting, take a look at the fabulous pictures posted by some of our viewing members:


justalittlebean's picture

Such a beautiful Cheetah! 

Such a beautiful Cheetah!  Cool

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