Some foods in a cheetah's diet include small antelopes called gazelles. The cheetah is partial to the Thomson's gazelle. It also eats impalas, another type of gazelle, and springboks.
The cheetah also eats other ungulates, which are hoofed mammals. This means the cheetah also takes young zebras, wildebeests, adult wild sheep and ibexes, depending on the region in which it lives. The cheetah also takes hares and birds, such as Guinea fowl, when the usual prey is scarce.
Unlike the lion, the cheetah mainly hunts during the day or on nights when the moon is bright. It charges after prey instead of stalking and ambushing it like other big cats. The cheetah needs to be no more than 656 feet from its prey, or the animal has a better chance of escaping. The cheetah can hunt this way because it is one of the fastest animals on Earth and can reach speeds of about 69 miles per hour. When it catches up to the prey, the cheetah knocks the prey to the ground and clamps its jaws around the prey's throat, thus strangling it to death. The cheetah can only run at maximum speed for a few hundred yards before it tires out, and most of the time it fails to catch its prey.