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Photographer's Note

The world's fastest land animal, the cheetah, is the most unique and specialized member of the cat family and can reach speeds of 70 mph. Unlike other cats, the cheetah has a leaner body, and longer legs.

It is not an aggressive animal, using flight versus fight. With its weak jaws and small teeth, it cannot fight larger predators to protect its kill or young.

Loss of habitat and prey base, competition with large predators and agricultural interests, and poaching are taking a heavy toll on wild cheetah populations throughout Africa. Today, there are fewer than 12,500 of these endangered cats remaining in Africa and Asia.

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Additional Photos by Shannon Hayes (shayes) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 81 W: 4 N: 146] (499)
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