The cheetah is a large, fast, spotted cat from the grassy plains of Africa. In short sprints, the cheetah can reach speeds of sixty miles per hour, earning it the title of fastest land mammal. Unfortunately, the cheetah is now endangered by loss of habitat, poachers and ranchers. At the turn of the century an estimated 100,000 cheetah lived in forty-four countries throughout Africa and Asia. Today, there are less than 10,000 cheetah worldwide
From aardvark to zebra, the African Wildlife Foundation has fact files on forty-nine African animals. Included on the cheetah page is everything needed for a school report (habitat, life span, predators) as well as headline links to cheetah news stories. Other great clicks from the front page are the Heartland habitat sections, Computer Wallpaper Gallery, and the Take a Listen! audio files.
"The oldest cat in the world is now the most threatened." If you are a student in Cape Peninsula, South Africa, Cheetah Outreach will bring a cheetah to your school. The rest of will have to make due with the Photo Gallery and the Meet our Cheetahs page. Best educational click is the Plight of the Cheetah which describes how the cheetah is losing habitat, and their conflict with livestock farmers in Namibia, a south African country.
Cheetah Spot is my pick of the day because of the depth of its information. Learn how cheetahs socialize with other animals, what they eat, their evolution (starting 5.5 million years ago), and the amazing bird-like chirp they make. Cheetahs, by the way, do not roar; only lions, tigers jaguars and leopards roar. Cheetah Spot is a great resource for writing reports (it has an extensive bibliography) and just plain fun to peruse.
This two-page creature profile from PBS is just one of dozens of animal entries in the Kratt's Creature's site organized by continent. Perfect for lower elementary students, the cheetah article is brief but colorful and full of fun facts. Click through to page two to learn why the cheetah is so fast, and why they don't retract their claws into their paws like other big cats. Be sure to explore the rest of Africa, and the wacky Creature Crazy animal games linked from Kratt's front page.
This beautiful PBS site is the Web companion to the television program which originally aired in February, 2000. The site focuses on three cheetah topics: Fast Cats ("how cheetahs are built for speed"), Deadly Hunters ("the art of stalking, cheetah-style") and Finding a Home ("efforts to protect and relocate these endangered animals"). For those interested in learning more about Namibia, where most of the world's remaining cheetahs now live, the Resource page has some good links.