When a predator such as the cheetah is removed from an ecosystem, the population of its natural prey increases. This has a rippling effect across the ecosystem, affecting a wide variety of organisms. Famine, disease and even wildfires can result from unchecked growth in other populations.
The cheetah is a member of the big cat family and is the world's fastest land animal. Excluding its tail, the cheetah can reach a length of 4.5 feet and weigh as much as 143 pounds. Cheetahs are active in the day and use their spots to blend in with the surrounding environment before ambushing prey.