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Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado

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My favorite Animal--The *Cheetah*
by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado   

Last edited: Monday, June 03, 2002
Posted: Monday, June 03, 2002

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I have always loved animals, especially cats, but my favorite one happens to be the enigmatic cheetah.

I watched "Maury" today because the Director of the Columbus (Ohio) Zoo, Jack Hanna, was on the program, and whenever he is on there, I NEVER fail to watch it--that is, if I CAN. Of course, he brought along many of his furry (and some NOT so furry) friends with him.

Included in his entourage was the cheetah. A very sleek and BEAUTIFUL cheetah, to be exact!!

I have always loved cats, but my favorite happens to be the cheetah. Cheetahs are absolutely STUNNING in appearance, their speed is nothing short of incredible, and they have such SWEET faces!! And their purrs absolutely DELIGHT me each time I hear them!!

I have been fortunate to have seen cheetahs at the zoo (Fort Worth, Texas, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana) and at places like Fossil Rim (Glen Rose, Texas). I NEVER get tired of looking at them, they are so fascinating to me. How they chase and then catch their prey never ceases to amaze me because it is over in just seconds. But what makes me MADDER than ANYTHING is how they are endangered because of mankind or because larger animals (lions, hyenas, leopards, etc.) KILL cheetahs from time to time, especially if the cheetahs are just little bitty cubs. In other words, the cheetahs DON'T seem to have much of a chance when it comes to defending their food or their young because they are so much lighter, smaller, and weaker than a lion, hyena, or leopard. Plus the larger prey often steals the food that the cheetah worked so hard to get.

That isn't very fair, if you ask me!!

But I still love the cheetah anyway. I could look at them all day if I could; I'd LOVE to go to Africa, just so I can see the cheetahs in their native natural environment; but for now I can only "dream of Africa" because I am poor, and I can't afford to go there. Maybe SOMEDAY I WILL go to Africa; I really hope so! I'd love to see more in the way of cheetahs before they become extinct!!

One of my dreams may sound dumb or stupid to some people, but here goes: one of my biggest dreams is to actually get CLOSE to a cheetah to where I could pet it and hear its purr and also hear it "chirp!" I love that idea! Yes, I KNOW cheetahs ARE dangerous, but still--the thought of hearing it purr in my ear or stroking its spotted coat would really be something to experience! ;)

One MUST DO ALL THEY POSSIBLY CAN to try to protect and preserve the cheetah and ensure its survival. Cheetahs are just too beautiful, and they deserve a chance as much as any other endangered or vulnerable animal!! This is why I hold the cheetah so high on my list of favorite animals!!


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Reviewed by Larry Low (Reader) 9/10/2003
Karen, Thanks for your comment about The First River Begins With A. I was really fed up with my class when I wrote that and they loved it. I use those kinds of stories to make up crossword puzzles so that perhaps my students might actually learn something. I have just read your article on the Cheetah and thought you might like to know that I once spent an afteroon with one. The cheetah belonged to a person who looked after wild animals. Dr. Ooeming. He told me a story about taking his cheetah out on the back roads of northern Montana to let it get some exercise. A guy came along on a motorcycle and the cheetah thought that it would be fun, I guess to chase the biker. He did and the biker only escaped being captured by seconds. The biker had his Harley up to 80 on a gravel road before he managed to get away from the cheetah. I'll stop now and read another one of your stories. Take care, Larry

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