International Cheetah Day

The cheetah is a large cat native to Africa and central Iran. It is considered the fastest land animal alive, capable of running at speeds ranging from 50 to 80 miles per hour on average (80-128 km/h).

These cats 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 they should be approached carelessly 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 she operated in Oregon.

Khayam was part of an experiment to determine whether cheetahs could be taught to live and hunt in the wild after being held in captivity. Although the experiment was successful, Dr. Marker brought Khayam 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 moved to Namibia to facilitate coexistence 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 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 declining. 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 simply donating to the CCF’s general donation fund.

Of course, those are only some of the things that people can do. They can also donate old vehicles or gift cards, or leave a bequest to the CCF in their estate. And people can spread the word about this holiday using the hashtag #InternationalCheetahDay online.

When is it?
This year (2024)
December 4 Wednesday
Next year (2025)
December 4 Thursday
Last year (2023)
December 4 Monday