They are mother natures precision, high-performance machine, designed to do one job and do it with incredible skill and effectiveness. It can accelerate faster than a Ferrari, tearing up the ground from 0-75 mph in just 3 seconds, and comes with a self-grown paint-job that would make the fanciest muscle car blush with envy. That’s right, we’re talking about the Cheetah, and International Cheetah Day celebrates these incredible animals while raising awareness about their threat of extinction.
History of International Cheetah Day
As founder of the Cheetah Conservation Fund, Dr. Laurie Marker chose to commemorate Khayam, a cheetah she raised at the Wildlife Safari she ran in Oregon, by establishing December 4th as International Cheetah Day in his memory. Khayam served as part of an important experiment determining whether or not captive Cheetahs can be taught to hunt and live in the wild on their own again. After a trip to Namibia, the experiment was proven successful, though she and Khayam returned home after observing local hunters eliminating wild cheetahs as a threat to their livelihood.
Driven by this encounter she moved to Namibia to help heal the rift between farmers and the majestic cheetah and founded the CCF in 1990. Cheetahs are incredible animals, being the fastest land mammal in the wild today. There are only 8,000 of these creatures left in the wild today, a number that leaves them as Africa’s most endangered feline. Cheetah’s hold their position as world’s fastest land mammal thanks to some tricks of evolution that have perfectly adapted them for high speed. Their full running speed is so fast that their feet only touch the ground once every 6-7 meters, and their muscular tail helps to steer them like a rudder at these high speeds. Needless to say, once a cheetah has prey in their sites, there’s no running away.
How To Celebrate International Cheetah Day
First, learn all you can about these amazing animals by watching documentaries or attending one of the functions held on International Cheetah Day at your local zoo. Once you’ve developed a new (or growing!) appreciation for these high-speed mammals, you can start finding ways to help with their conservation. If your local zoo doesn’t have an International Cheetah Day celebration contact them and see what can be done to arrange one, even volunteering to help run it if the need be. The cheetah is known for being incredibly fast, but with your help, we can slow down its extinction.