ABout Cheetah


Female cheetahs typically have a litter of three cubs and live with them for one-and-a-half to two years. Young cubs spend their first year learning from their mother and practicing hunting techniques with playful games. Once they reach maturity, male cheetahs live alone or in small groups, often with their littermates.

Plains Stamp
Average Size
3.54 feet long with a tail up to 25.5 inches long
Native Region
Northern, Eastern and Southwestern Africa
Eating Habits
Small to medium sized ungulates
Conservation status
Come see for yourself.

Look no further. Connect with our amazing animals and learn about the wild places they come from.

The Cheetah is located in the Plains Exhibit.
View Map View Plains
Cheetah Conservation Fund
When the Indianapolis Zoo designed its Cheetah: The Race for Survival exhibit, which opened in 2010, the planners included something never before seen in this kind of setting. The objective is to get young visitors interested in the world's fastest land animal and to generate funds that would directly go to the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) in Namibia.

CCF founder and two-time Indianapolis Prize Finalist Dr. Laurie Marker consulted the Zoo on the exhibit. Zoo visitors pay 50 cents to enter the track and try and outrun the 60 miles per hour light array that duplicates a cheetah’s speed, all the while listening to audio messages about the speed and grace of the cheetah.

Race-a-Cheetah also benefitted from a donation from someone who knows and admires superior speed when he sees it — 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion (and Hoosier) Tony Stewart, whose Tony Stewart Foundation supports educational programming at the Indianapolis Zoo. Thus was born the concept of demonstrating just how fast a cheetah can run (and how and why they need to be that quick), while also telling the story of how researchers are working to save them in Africa.

Beyond direct cheetah conservation, the Race-a-Cheetah funds also help the CCF raise Kangal dogs. CCF staffers train the dogs to guard livestock for the farmers and ranchers in Namibia. The dogs protect the sheep and goats from the cheetahs, which occasionally attack domestic animals, which means the humans won’t have to kill the cheetahs to protect their property and livelihoods.

All Conservation Efforts
Additional Experiences
White River Junction Train Ride
Climb aboard the White River Junction Train Ride for a tour of the "Zoo behind the Zoo."

Riders will enjoy a 10-minute narrated journey and learn about our Plains animals, greenhouse, gardens, the Zoo’s 15,000-square-foot veterinary hospital, maintenance and commissary departments and other behind-the-scenes operations necessary to run the Zoo. Available mid-March through December, riders will also learn about the Zoo’s animal conservation mission.

Additional Experiences
Cheetah Chat

Sprint over to our Plains biome for our Cheetah Chat and get a closer glimpse of the fastest land mammal on the planet! Learn about the adaptations that give cheetahs their iconic speed while the cheetahs receive a snack from our animal care team. You’ll also find out what you can do right here at the Zoo to save cheetahs! Cheetah chat is located at the double wooden doors between the warthog and elephant exhibits.

Learn More
Additional Experiences
Animal Amigo
Sponsor a Cheetah

The Animal Amigo program helps care for all of the animals at the Zoo by funding food, medical treatment, equipment, enrichment toys, and habitat improvement for the animals in our care. For a donation of $100 or more, you can sponsor a cheetah at the Indianapolis Zoo. You will receive a plush, collector card, certificate and recognition on the Animal Amigo donor board!

Learn More