A Gazelle For Lunch


Cheetah eat small antelope - Dik Dik, Springbok, Steenbok, Duikers, Impala and Gazelle. They also eat the young of larger animals - Warthog, Kudu, Hartebeest, Oryx, Roan and Sable - as well as game birds and rabbits. They can even mimic some bird sounds: some think they do this to attract the birds and then capture them. Thompson's Gazelle is a favorite catch - it is very plentiful on the east African plains. These small antelopes are sized just right since they are only several inches shorter than the cheetah. They are about 23-28 inches (58-70 centimeters) tall and 28-43 inches (70-107 centimeters) long. Known as "tommys" these antelopes can run faster(up to 80 kph or 49.71 mph) than anything except a cheetah. Viewed from a far distance while grazing their black "swipe" pattern makes them look like a stick. Cheetahs favor fawns or half-grown antelope and look for animals which have strayed some distance from the group. They do not seek out old or weak animals. Cheetah may go several days without water and in a pinch they have been known to break open melons for fluid.

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