In 1900, there were over 100,000 cheetahs across their historic range. Today, an estimated 9,000 to 12,000 cheetahs remain in the wild in Africa. Found mostly in open and partially open savannah, cheetahs rely on tall grasses for camouflage when hunting. They are diurnal (more active in the day) animals and hunt mostly during the late morning or early evening. At 70mph (113 km/hr) the Cheetah is the fastest land animal in the world. Even with this incredible speed only half of the chases, which last from 20 - 60 seconds, are successful.
Cheetahs are tan in color with black spots all over their bodies. They can also be distinguished from other big cats by their smaller size, spotted coats, small heads and ears and distinctive "tear stripes" that stretch from the corner of the eye to the side of the nose.
I wanted to portray this solitary hunter as she wanders through an early morning haze looking for gazelles or impalas. So majestic, such a powerful presence and ready for the chase.