International Cheetah Day
The cheetah is a large cat that’s native to Africa and central Iran. It’s considered to be the fastest land animal alive, capable of running speeds up anywhere from 50 to 80 miles per hour on average (80-128 km/hour).
They are cats that are perfectly adapted for running speed with features that include long thin legs and a light build. Compared to other cats they are also quite docile, but that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be avoided as they can still be very dangerous.
That’s why we’re going to admire these big cats from afar while we celebrate International Cheetah Day. This holiday is observed on December 4th and is a day to appreciate them in all their glory.
The History Of International Cheetah Day
This holiday was created by Dr. Laurie Marker, founder of the Cheetah Conservation Fund. She created the holiday to commemorate a cheetah named Khayam that she raised at the Wildlife Safari that she operated in Oregon.
Khayam was part of an experiment whose purpose was to find out whether cheetahs can be taught to live and hunt in the wild after they’ve been held in captivity. Although the experiment proved to be successful, Dr. Marker still brought Kayam home when she learned that wild cheetahs were being hunted and killed by hunters who viewed them as a threat to their livelihood.
Ultimately, Dr. Marker would end up moving to Namibia to smooth things out between local farmers and wild cheetahs. In 1990, she founded the Cheetah Conservation Fund. Not long after, she created this holiday to raise awareness about these majestic animals and to remind people that cheetahs are listed as a “Vulnerable” species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species.
As of 2022, many scientists are calling for cheetahs to be listed as “Endangered.” That’s because there are only 7,100 cheetahs alive in the wild and those numbers are dropping all the time. In Asia and North Africa, cheetahs are already listed as “Critically Endangered.”
Observing International Cheetah Day
We encourage everyone who can to get involved with the Cheetah Conservation Fund. This can be done by sponsoring a particular cheetah, buying items from their Amazon Charity List, and shipping it directly to the CCF’s MyUS Shipment Box, or by just donating to the CCF’s general donation fund.
Of course, those are only a fraction of the things that people can do. They can also donate old vehicles or gift cards, or leave a bequest to CCF in their estate. And people can spread the word about this holiday using the hashtag #InternationalCheetahDay online.