While there are concerted efforts to help protect and preserve the cheetah, it’s a very difficult situation for the savannah predator. Habitat loss and protective hunting have cut the cheetah’s numbers back dramatically. African farmer’s see cheetahs as threats to their livestock and often kill them because of their natural predatory instincts. This same problem caused them to go extinct in Asia and has also caused them to go extinct in 16 different African countries.
The Cheetah is also closely inbred (sharing about the same percentage of genes between each other as lab rats do). Because of this, there are low survival rates, poor sperm quality, greater susceptibility to disease and epidemic.
It doesn’t look good for the Cheetah. In addition to their poor genetic health and killing by farmers, cheetahs are extremely specialized. They’re not powerfully built like other cats, but are designed only for high-speed chases of the Thompson’s gazelle. As the gazelle population is affected by human activity, combined with all the other troubles the Cheetah faces, it spells a grim future for the cheetah.
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