Tanzania – 2013 – 1500 Shillings – Serengeti Wildlife – Cheetah (PROOF)
Metal Gold .9999
Weight 0.5 g
Size 11 mm
The cheetah is undoubtedly one of the most charismatic and well-known cat species of the world. This Tanzanian commemorative coin, dedicated to the world’s fastest land animal, portrays a cheetah family resting on a mound overlooking the Serengeti.
The slender build, long legs and flexible spine that acts as an energy storing spring, allows cheetahs to attain top speeds of over 100 km/h. While these bursts can only be maintained for several seconds, few prey animals are able to outmaneuver an attacking cheetah. Antelopes, gazelles, and hares that would easily escape most other predators are the primary targets. However, the lightweight, graceful body of the cheetah also has its drawbacks, as they frequently get displaced from their kills by hyenas and lions.
Exceptional speed is not the only unique characteristic of cheetahs, since unlike most other cat species, males frequently live in small groups to hunt and defend territories together. Lions are the only cat species with more complex social systems.
Cheetahs once roamed the open landscape across Africa, Arabia and India. Unsustainable hunting and habitat loss, however, have exterminated this elegant cat from much of its former range.