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Saturday, January 28, 2023

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Wildlife Conservation in Action – Cheetah – The Fastest Cat Alive Albeit a Slow Breeder

Yes, the cheetah is the fastest animal at 70 miles per hour. No, you can’t escape, and even if you tried, you’d need a car down the highway to take shelter if someone was chasing you. And these feral cats learn to run very early, and even the pups are fast, agile, and energetic.

Cheetahs are also very social and make a variety of sounds, which is how they communicate. They use it when hunting, hanging out, playing, and some of the sounds are courtship calls – which also elicit biological responses.

The Zoological Society of San Diego “ZooNooz” published an excellent article on the subject in its December 2009 issue titled; “Did You Hear What I Heard: The Cheetah’s New Breeding Protocol” by Karyl Carmignani (Contributing Writer), and excellent up-close photos from award-winning zookeeper and San Diego Zoo photographer Ken Bohn.

According to his article, zookeepers track the sounds cheetahs make, and they know when males and females are ready to mate. In fact, they have now recorded these sounds along with other sounds. According to the article there are many; “grunts, chirps, growls, growls, hisses, coughs, moans”, but it’s this chirp that excites the female and “triggers her biological function to lay the egg” Put into her female parts and activate her reproductive system.

It’s interesting that the San Diego Zoo can use these sounds and speakers to help with the process so that many healthy offspring are born at the right time, even in captivity. It’s amazing that zoology is saving endangered species. Perhaps, these techniques could be used to help other animals in the animal kingdom do the same?

Wildlife conservation is important for species that struggle to survive in the wild, some due to human encroachment and/or hunting – and damage to the food chain caused by human activity. Indeed, I hope you take all of this into consideration when thinking about wildlife conservation.

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