For a little bit of history, cheetahs are one of the oldest big cats in the world. Fossils have been found in Wyoming, Texas, and Nevada but they are now found in sub-Saharan Africa.
Around 90 days, a cheetah is in her gestation period and may give birth to anywhere from two to eight cubs. The cubs are born blind and can do nothing on their own.
Many cubs stay with their mothers for months. They are fed by her for up to 4 months but also may eat meat. A mother moves the cubs every few weeks to allude predators. A female cub reaches maturity around 23 months and will then leave her male siblings alone.
Mother cheetahs stay with their cubs for the first month or so of their life. They are quasi-attentive mothers, and physically move their cubs to be close to them while they hunt until the cubs mature. However, the average cheetah’s hunting schedule is extremely demanding (especially when there are multiple mouths to feed), and mothers must be away from their cubs actively hunting 80-90% of the time. This results in a high mortality rate of young cheetah cubs, who are preyed upon by hyenas and lions.
Happily, cheetah cubs mature at an abnormally fast rate (reaching adolescent age within 90 days), and are soon able to fend for themselves, relieving the stress on their mother to protect and feed them.
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