A Gentle Cheetah Shows An Unexpected Side Of One Of The World's Best Predators

Aug 7, 2015

Cheetahs are the fastest land animal on Earth, able to achieve speeds between 68 and 75 miles per hour and an acceleration of 0-60 m.p.h. in just three seconds. It can be found in the wilds of Africa, certain parts the Middle East, and, at one time, in the jungles of India. Cheetahs are fierce predators who eat their prey immediately after the kill, but this video shows a very different side to them.

Dolph C. Volker was volunteering at Cheetah Experience, a South African organization that provides tourists with a wilderness experience while simultaneously engaging them in conservation efforts. This cheetah, named Eden, is a particularly friendly female with a gentle spirit who serves as a therapeutic companion for another disabled female cheetah at the park. According to Volker, she is gentle and cuddly with anyone who lets her. He also adds that after a few days, she learned to adjust the pressure of her bites and nips so as to not hurt him.

Cheetahs actually have a very long history with humanity - ancient Egyptians kept them as pets, taming and training them for hunting purposes (although they were never fully domesticated like dogs). Cheetahs would be blindfolded and kept on a leash while dogs flushed the prey out of hiding. At this point, the cheetahs would be set loose to use their deadly speed to secure the kill. This custom was even passed on to Persia and then to India. Among the long lineage of royalty that has kept cheetahs are the likes of Akbar the Great, Charlemagne, and Genghis Khan.

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