Another endangered species that can be found at Thanda Tau is the Cheetah. According to the IUCN Red List, there are less than 10,000 cheetahs remaining in the wild with the largest density being in Southern Africa.

Thanda Tau is home to five cheetahs, Jabulani, Jade, Jamal, Eve and Voice. Cheetahs are significantly smaller than lions but their slender shape makes them the fastest land animal in the world. In the wild, cheetah typically prey on gazelle, impala and smaller hoofed animals. Although cheetah can reach up to a 100km per hour, they can only sustain this speed for a short period of time.

You will notice that unlike our ‘chatty’ lions, Cheetahs do not roar but purr like your household domestic cat. These five are far more alert during the day as well and this is because Cheetahs in the wild generally hunt during the day and seek refuge after dark. Cheetahs are also more solitary animals, particularly the females. You will see that although our cheetahs are in the same enclosure, they can often be found lying on their own.

Fun fact

Cheetahs use their tails like rudders on a ship to steer their direction when running.