Known as the fastest animal in the world, the cheetah can run at full speed at over 100 km/h for 10 to 20 seconds, before it begins to get hot. If its prey manages to remain ahead for longer than this, it will invariably escape.
The cheetah is more sociable than other large cats, except for lions. The siblings leave their mother at the same time at between 13 and 20 months, but can remain together for various months or years. The cheetah is yellowish in colour with small black spots. It has a characteristic black patch, in the shape of a teardrop, which runs the length of its face from the eye to the mouth. The population of cheetahs is in continuous descent. The reduction in numbers is due principally to the loss and fragmentation of their habitat, as well as the hunting and capture of cheetahs as livestock predators.