Cheetahs are the fastest land animals on earth, capable of reaching speeds of up to 70 miles per hour. But speed isn’t the only thing that makes these big cats so special. They are also excellent climbers, able to easily scale trees and cliffs.
First, let’s look at the anatomy of a cheetah. They have long legs and a slender body, which helps them run quickly but makes it more difficult to climb. Cheetahs have non-retractable claws, making it difficult for them to grip tree branches.
Cheetah climbing tree with prey
It’s not uncommon to see a cheetah climbing a tree to pursue prey. Cheetahs are quite adept at climbing trees, thanks to their sharp claws and powerful hind legs.
However, while cheetahs can climb trees, they don’t do it very often. Most of their prey – such as gazelles and impalas – can’t climb trees, so there’s no need for the cheetah to chase them up into the branches.
There are some exceptions, of course. Suppose a cheetah is chasing a particularly agile prey animal – like a monkey or an ostrich – it may go for the tree option. But even then, it’s more likely that the cheetah will chase the animal until it tires, rather than risking injury by climbing up after it.
Why do cheetahs climb trees?
There are three reasons why cheetahs climb trees:
1. Cubs use Trees as a Playground
Cheetahs are not natural climbers but their young ones use trees to play. Cubs have smaller bodies and more flexibility in their bodies so trees are a great location for them to play.
2. Cheetahs use Trees for Communication
Cheetah conservation fund tells us it is common you will spot a cheetah on tree. Tree is not a place where a cheetah can have rest or play but they can use trees as a medium for communication.
Trees act as a territorial marker for cheetahs. They mostly climb tress that have trunks coming up at a 90 degree angle from the ground. The limbs of the trees should be large and horizontal so that cheetah can get a good platform to climb around on.
3. To mark their Territory
Cheetahs climb trees because they have to do survey of the land to look for prey. They also use trees to let other animals or cheetahs know about their territory.
Do cheetahs sit in trees?:
The quick answer to this question is no, cheetahs cannot sit in trees. They are not built for climbing, and their short legs and heavy body make it difficult for them to maneuver in trees. However, that doesn’t mean that cheetahs don’t enjoy spending time in trees.
They often use trees as lookout points to scan their territory for prey or danger. In fact, when chased by lions or other predators, cheetahs will sometimes climb a tree to escape.
Do cheetahs pull their meals up into trees?
No, cheetahs do not pull their meals up into trees. They are quite poor climbers. You might only see a cheetah in a tree if it has been chased up there by other predators such as lions or hyenas.
The cheetah will usually only stay in the tree long enough to catch its breath before coming back to the ground.
Article Research: Gifts of Speech – Laurie Marker (sbc.edu)