DENVER – Cheetahs are Africa’s fastest cat. They are built to be able to go up to 70 miles an hour.
Their shoulders are hinged to the point where it’s easy for them to move their legs quickly.
Cheetahs’ tails are essentially rudders than help them make corners.
Cheetahs also are very good at bringing in a lot of oxygen to their tissues because their chests can expand quite a bit.
It’s not so easy to keep the energy at that intensity. In fact, once they catch their prey, it can be hard for them to eat their meal before some other animal rushes in and takes it away.
They compete for food with leopards, lion, hyenas and African wild dogs.
The two cheetahs at the Denver Zoo are a brother and sister.
They spend their days basking in the sun or pacing back and forth along the fence they share with the kangaroos.
Three times a year, zoo keepers and veterinarians take blood to make sure they’re healthy. This is the same thing we do here in Colorado at the 9Health Fair.
So far, so good for the cheetahs.
The keepers work a lot with these cats so they’re not stressed when blood is taken from their tails.
The prick of the needle doesn’t seem to bother them at all. In fact, they are more focused on the food they’re getting as a reward.
These animals are very endangered in Africa. The Denver Zoo is proud that it can keep such a good track of the health of its cheetahs.