International Cheetah Day is on December 4 and we’re getting ready to celebrate mother nature’s breathtaking, built-for-speed machines — cheetahs. Cheetahs are incredibly fast and absolutely gorgeous beasts. But, did you know that cheetahs are the most endangered big cats in Africa? This day is a reminder that we should honor and preserve these magnificent animals!
History of International Cheetah Day
The story of how International Cheetah Day was born is worthy of a movie adaptation. It all started in 1977 when American Zoologist, Dr. Laurie Marker took Khayam, a cheetah she raised from a cub at Wildlife Safari in Oregon, to Namibia. It was a part of an experiment to determine whether captive cheetahs could be taught to hunt and live in the wild on their own again.
The experiment was a success, and she and Khayam returned home to the U.S. But during her stay in Namibia, Dr. Marker noted that livestock owners posed a threat to the cheetah population in the wild. They were eliminating cheetahs vigorously because they were becoming a threat to their livestock.
Determined to help resolve the rift between Namibian farmers and cheetahs, Dr. Marker vowed to preserve the wild cheetahs and founded the Cheetah Conservation Fund in 1991. She negotiated with the locals and educated them about wildlife preservation. In honor of his memory, Dr. Marker chose Khayam’s birthday as the day to promote cheetah conservation. Since 2010, the world has been celebrating International Cheetah Day on December 4 to raise awareness about the threat of extinction that they face.
Sadly, due to excessive hunting of wild cheetahs for their fur, and the loss of their habitat due to increased human settlements, as of 2020, there are only around 7,100 cheetahs left in the wild. This is a shocking 50% decline in the last four decades. So, let us recognize this as the day to respect and conserve cheetahs.
International Cheetah Day timeline
Dr. Marker visits Namibia to conduct a wildlife experiment involving Khayam.
Dr. Marker creates a program to educate locals to preserve cheetahs instead of killing them.
The inauguration of the Cheetah Conservation Fund, which aims to save the cheetah, takes place.
Khayam’s birthday on December 4 is honored as International Cheetah Day.
International Cheetah Day FAQs
How can I support the Cheetah Conservation Fund?
You can partner with the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia and donate to their cause. This way, you can do your part to help save cheetahs from extinction.
Is International Cheetah Day only celebrated in Namibia?
Although the idea for the initiative was born in Namibia, International Cheetah Day is celebrated worldwide. Why does a good cause need boundaries anyway?
How fast are cheetahs actually?
Very fast! They are the fastest animals on land and can reach a speed of 70 miles per hour in just three seconds.
How to Observe International Cheetah Day
Donate to the Cheetah Conservation Fund
What better way to celebrate International Cheetah Day than honoring its cause? Donate to the Cheetah Conservation Fund to support its initiative and do your part!
Be a cheetah ambassador
Tell your family and friends about the cheetah, as well as other wildlife, and why it is important to preserve them before it's too late. Educate them about the dangers of cheetah extinction.
Go on a safari
This is the ultimate way to appreciate the beauty of these creatures! Visit a wildlife conservation or fly to a country where you could see a wild cheetah in action!
5 Awesome Facts About Cheetahs That Will Make Your Heart Race
Cheetahs don’t roar
Unlike the common misconception that all big cats roar, cheetahs actually meow and purr!
They are born with a sun-shield
Cheetahs are born with distinctive tear-mark lines that run from the corners of their eyes down to their mouth to help them protect their eyes from the sun’s glare.
The spots go deeper!
The spots on a cheetah’s fur aren’t just fur-deep, they are skin-deep. Their skins have black spots.
They are both “introverts” and “extroverts”
Cheetahs are usually solitary animals, but they often stick up for their siblings and cubs.
Cheetahs don’t drink often
Cheetahs only need to drink water every three or four days.
Why International Cheetah Day is Important
Cheetahs are awesome creatures
Cheetahs are one of nature’s most awesome creations. They are sleek, slender, and surprisingly calm creatures.
It is a meaningful initiative
International Cheetah Day is not just a day where we remember these creatures. It is a meaningful day that raises awareness among people about the increasing threat to the wild cheetah population.
It teaches us that we can be the change
The astonishing efforts of Dr. Marker when she founded the Cheetah Conservation Fund is a lesson to us that if humans can come together, they can achieve anything. Let’s make a change!
International Cheetah Day dates