While they may live as long as 10 to 12 years, few cheetahs in the wild survive more than eight years. When kept in captivity, cheetahs generally live 10 to 12 years and may live as long as 20.
Mortality among cubs is very high in both captive and wild cheetahs. In open habitats, less than 5 percent of cubs aged 6 weeks to 4 months will ever reach adulthood. Seventy percent of this mortality is a result of predation by lions and hyenas. A decline in prey, loss of habitat and poaching also threaten the survival of the cheetah, a protected species in parts of Africa.