Cheetahs are one of the largest species of feline. They are mostly found in the wild in Africa, but there is a small population in Iran, and they can be found in zoos worldwide. They used to range across much larger swaths of Asia and Africa but are now listed as an endangered species, with around 10,000 individuals in the wild.
These carnivores have a gestation period of around 3 months and produce litters of two to four cubs. Cubs sport a camouflaged coat called a mantle that keeps them safe from predators until they are able to follow their mother at around 5 weeks old. The cubs live with the mother for around 1.5 years before becoming completely independent and seeking their own turf.
Cheetahs are very efficient at using water and can go 3 or 4 days without drinking. They are skilled hunters that use their high speed to catch prey. Once they have killed it, they often take their meal into a safe, shady place to prevent other animals from stealing the meat. They can be about 3 feet tall and weigh up to 140 pounds, and their lean muscles give them the ability to reach up to 70 miles per hour when sprinting.