Skip to main content

Rare King Cheetah

Rare King Cheetah - photo copyright Fred Hood.

The photo on this page is protected by copyright ©. Violations of copyright are reported to (DMCA).

The rare king cheetah sports one of three anomalous coat patterns and colors. The others are the melanistic cheetah (black with ghost spots) and the white cheetah. Both black and white cheetahs have been recorded. They too are rare.

The king cheetah is found in South Africa. Apparently way back in 1926 a farmer in southern Rhodesia, now the Republic of Zimbabwe purchased a cheetah skin that had an unusual pattern of stripes and blotches rather then the spots. The farmer donated the skin to the museum in Salisbury.

It was initially believed that the skin had belonged to a hybrid cheetah - a mating of a cheetah and leopard. The skin was sent to the British Museum in London, England to be examined by R.I. Pocock. He described it as a separate species, scientific name: Acinonyx rex.

However it has been subsequently decided that the king cheetah is simply a "normal" cheetah with a different coat. The king cheetah is not a subspecies of cheetah.

The unusual coat is the result of the presence of a single recessive gene. Accordingly if both parents carry the gene, one quarter of their offspring will be king cheetahs.

It is believed that the same process of genetic mutation that converts a mackerel tabby domestic cat to a classic or blotched tabby is at play in the cheetah.

In the wild, the king cheetah is found in:
  • Zimbabwe
  • Botswana
  • Transvaal
They were almost never seen in captivity until 1980. Now, you can see them at the De Wilt Cheetah Breeding and Research Center near Pretoria and around the world. There were 9 there in 1984.

Michael Avatar


Popular posts from this blog

Cat Ear Mites

Brown gunge. Yes, I know this is a ferret! It does show the build up of dark brown to black ear wax caused by the presence of the cat ear mites in the outer ear canal. This parasite is not restricted to the domestic cat, which makes this photo valid and a useful illustration (I was unable to find a suitable photo of a cat with the condition). Photo Stacy Lynn Baum under a creative commons license. Ear mites (minute crab like creatures) are one of the causes of inflammation of the outer ear canal (scientific term for this inflammation is Otitis externa ). The outer ear canal is the tube that runs from outside to the ear drum (the pathway for the reception of sound), which can be seen when looking at the ear. Otitis externa affects humans and often swimmers as it is called "swimmer's ear" in humans. This YouTube video show ear mites under a microscope. They are not actually in the ear in this video. There are many possible causes of Otitis externa in c

Feline Mange

I'll write about three types of feline mange (a) feline scabies or head mange (b) demodectic mange and (c) sarcoptic mange. The source material is from Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook - the best on the market . Generalised feline mange? Puerto Rico - Photo by Gotham City Lost And Found Feline Scabies - head mange Head mange or feline scabies, is a fairly rare condition in cats, which is caused by the Notoedres mite (head mite) that only reproduces on cats. The female mites burrow a few millimeters (that is a lot) into the skin around the head, and neck to lay eggs, which hatch and lay their own eggs. Their presence and activities causes intense itching that in turn causes the cat to scratch. The scratching will obviously be noticed and it will cause the skin to become red, scratched and worse infected. Symptoms: hair loss and scabs, thick wrinkled skin and grey/yellow crusts form plus the symptoms of scratching. Feline mange (head mange) is contagious and tr

Cat Anatomy

Cat Anatomy - Photo by Curious Expeditions . The picture above was taken at Wax Anatomical Models at La Specola in Florence, Italy. The photograph is published under a creative commons license kindly granted by the photographer. I am sorry if it is a bit gruesome. It is pretty well all I could find as an illustration that was licensed for publication. Cat Anatomy is a very wide ranging subject. The anatomy of a cat is very similar to human anatomy. If you were writing a biology book for students of biology you would go through every part of the a cat's anatomy in some detail. It would be similar to writing a book about the human anatomy. It would be a thick book and pretty boring for your average internet surfer. So, how do you limit such a big subject and make this post meaningful? The answer I think lies in doing two things: Having a quick general look at cat anatomy - an overview and; Focusing on the areas of cat anatomy that are particular to the cat and of parti