Background & Aims



Due to increasing pressures on the cheetah, including habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict and climate change, more and more cheetahs are ending up in captivity. Many are young cubs, having lost their mothers to farmer conflict or accidents, and are brought to wildlife centres where they are raised by humans. This often leads to high levels of habituation to humans and a lack of hunting drive, meaning these cheetahs cannot be released back into the wild. As such, they must live the rest of their lives in captivity.

In the wild, adult female cheetahs are solitary unless they are with cubs, and cheetahs in general can have huge home ranges, some more than 2000 km2. However, in captivity, they are often housed in unnatural groupings and smaller spaces, which may impact the behaviour they display.

  • The aim of this project was to analyse the behaviour of four groups of cheetahs during their daily feeding times, and to assess the differences in the feeding and social behaviours they display.
  • I wanted to see if the age of each cheetah and the age at which they were introduced to each other had an impact on their overall behaviour.