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King Cheetah

King Cheetah
Photo Information
Copyright: Natley Prinsloo (Mamagolo2) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 158 W: 1 N: 636] (3124)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-05-19
Categories: Mammals
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/640 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2010-06-17 12:39
Viewed: 4263
Points: 14
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
King Cheetah

We saw this king cheetah at Tshukudu - Walk with the wild. I don't know if there has been other postings on the TN about the king cheetah before.
This was a difficult shot to take as the king cheetah was lying in the dense grass area of it's encampment. It was quite difficult to see and we did not see it until the game ranger saw it and walked towards it. What a fantastic experience to be so close to this stunning animal and on foot. This was the best shot I could get.
The chances of wild king cheetah pictures opportunities on safari range from extremely unlikely to zero. You are looking at one of the rarest cats in the world.
There are estimated to be less than ten king cheetah living in the wild and the total world population is around 60 animals. Most of the ones in captivity were bred at the De Wildt Cheetah Centre in South Africa which has been very successful in raising them.
Are King Cheetah Pictures on Safari Possible?
Possible, but highly unlikely. The animal was regarded as a myth because it was seen so infrequently and between 1926 when it was first reported in Zimbabwe and 1975 when the first ever photograph was taken of one in the Kruger National Park there were only five reported sightings.
Your best bet of seeing one in the wild would seem to be the Timbavati area of the Kruger Park but you could drive around for a very long time and never find it.
In captivity the best place to see them is at the De Wildt centre where there are a number of them and they have been so successful with the breeding program that several have been exported to zoos worldwide.
The birth of a king cheetah at the centre in 1981 to normal parents put paid to theories that it was a separate subspecies and launched the breeding program that contributed to the majority of the worlds population of king cheetah being descendants of the De Wildt cats.
The unique coat pattern is as a result of a recessive gene mutation similar to that of the black leopard which needs to be present in both parents.

Source: African Safari Pictures

Enjoy and comments are welcome.

pirate, boreocypriensis, caspian, rommel has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To boreocypriensis: King CheetahMamagolo2 2 07-17 01:50
To caspian: King CheetahMamagolo2 1 06-18 14:21
To pirate: King CheetahMamagolo2 1 06-18 14:11
To PeterZ: King CheetahMamagolo2 1 06-18 14:07
To Belgerdy: King CheetahMamagolo2 1 06-18 14:05
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Critiques [Translate]

Cool shot, but.....what is the difference with a 'normal' cheetah,


  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2010-06-17 13:32]
  • [+]

Hallo Natley,
Nice action shot of this special mammal. I found that this is a rare mutation of cheetah.
Beautiful natural colours and a good composition.

Hi Natley
maybe not a perfect picture due to the grass but a great nature document, I read about King Cheetah but never swa one.

Impressive capture of this magnificent beauty Natley, seems perfect in every way.
Great use of the DOF, everything looks amazingly sharp.
TFS this and also thanks a lot for your kind wishes on our trip!
Have a nice night MF!


Hello Natley,

Rare species that belong to a very nice shot cheetah.
Seems a bit nervous and aggressive.
Reflect the aggressiveness of the most beautiful King Cheetah.
Between the composition of hay is great.
Thank you for sharing this wild beauty.
Best Regards,


indeed king, TSF Ori

Hellow Natley,
Nicely focused through the grass managing to capture a sharp image with good clarity clearly showing those large teeth and its uniqe skin patterns.Must have been an intense moment.

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