(Acinonyx jubatus) is a large felid of the subfamily Felinae that occurs mainly in eastern and southern Africa and a few parts of Iran.
The only extant member of the genus Acinonyx, the cheetah was first described by Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber in 1775.
The cheetah reaches nearly 70 to 90 cm (28 to 35 in) at the shoulder, and weighs 21–72 kg (46–159 lb).
Though taller than the leopard, it is notably smaller than the lion.
Typically yellowish tan or rufous to greyish white, the coat is uniformly covered with nearly 2,000 solid black spots.
Cheetahs are active mainly during the day, with hunting their major activity.
By late 2016-early 2017, the cheetah's global population had fallen to approximately 7,100 individuals in the wild due to habitat loss, poaching, the illegal pet trade, and conflict with humans, with researchers suggesting that the animal be immediately reclassified as "Endangered" on the IUCN Red List.
Weaning occurs at six months; siblings tend to stay together for some time.
Cheetah cubs face higher mortality than most other mammals, especially in the Serengeti region.
The animal has been widely depicted in art, literature, advertising and animation.
Classified as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the cheetah has suffered a substantial decline in its historic range due to rampant hunting in the 20th century.