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Describing the animal, he noted its remarkable similarity to the cheetah, but the body of this individual was covered with fur as thick as that of a snow leopard and the spots merged to form stripes.
He suggested that it could be a cross between a leopard and a cheetah.
Although the cheetah is an African cat, molecular evidence indicates that the three species of the Puma lineage evolved in North America two to three million years ago, where they possibly had a common ancestor during the Miocene.
A genome study concluded that cheetahs experienced two genetic bottlenecks in their history, the first about 100,000 years ago and the second about 12,000 years ago, greatly lowering their genetic variability.
Cheetahs inhabit a variety of habitats – dry forests, scrub forests and savannahs.However, a phylogenetic analysis in 1990 placed these species under the genus Miracinonyx.Cooper wrote about an animal he had shot near modern-day Harare.They will stalk their prey to within 100–300 metres (330–980 ft), charge towards it and kill it by tripping it during the chase and biting its throat to suffocate it to death. The speed of a hunting cheetah averages 64 km/h (40 mph) during a sprint; the chase is interspersed with a few short bursts of speed, when the animal can attain 112 km/h (70 mph), although this is disputed by more recent measurements.Cheetahs are induced ovulators, breeding throughout the year.
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.