Cheetahs are the fastest land animals in the world, capable of reaching speeds of up to 120 km/h. They are also one of the most endangered big cats, with only about 7,000 left in the wild. Some people may have a fascination with these graceful and agile creatures and wonder if they can keep them as pets. However, buying a cheetah is not a simple or easy task. It involves many legal, ethical, and practical challenges that you should be aware of before you decide to pursue this option.
The first thing you need to know is that cheetahs are not domesticated animals. They are wild animals that belong to their natural habitats and ecosystems. Therefore, keeping them as pets is illegal in most countries and regions. You will need to obtain a special permit or license from the authorities to own an exotic pet like a cheetah. This may vary depending on where you live, but generally you will need to prove that you have adequate facilities, knowledge, and experience to care for such an animal. You will also need to comply with strict regulations regarding animal welfare, health, safety, and conservation.
Another legal requirement is to have liability insurance for your cheetah. This is because cheetahs are potentially dangerous animals that can cause harm to people, property, or other animals. If your cheetah escapes, attacks someone, or damages something, you will be held responsible for the consequences. Liability insurance can cost anywhere from $100 to $14,000 per year, depending on the level of coverage and risk involved.
Besides the legal aspects, you should also consider the ethical implications of buying a cheetah. Cheetahs are endangered species that face many threats in the wild, such as habitat loss, poaching, human-wildlife conflict, and disease. Buying a cheetah may contribute to the illegal trade of wildlife, which fuels these threats and undermines conservation efforts. Furthermore, keeping a cheetah as a pet may compromise its welfare and well-being. Cheetahs are not adapted to live in captivity and may suffer from stress, boredom, depression, or health problems.
Some people may argue that keeping a cheetah as a pet can help raise awareness and support for their conservation. However, this is not necessarily true. Keeping a cheetah as a pet may send the wrong message to the public that these animals are suitable for human companionship and entertainment. It may also create a false impression that cheetahs are abundant and not in need of protection. Moreover, keeping a cheetah as a pet may deprive it of its natural behaviors and instincts that are essential for its survival and reproduction.
Finally, you should also be aware of the practical challenges of buying and caring for a cheetah. Cheetahs are not cheap animals to buy or maintain. According to some sources, a cheetah cub can cost between $8,200 and $10,000. However, this is only the initial cost. You will also need to spend money on food, veterinary care, enclosure construction and maintenance, enrichment items, transportation, and other expenses. Cheetahs are carnivores that require a high-quality diet of whole prey animals or meat supplements with vitamins and minerals. They can eat up to 10 kg of food per day.
Cheetahs also require a lot of space and exercise to stay healthy and happy. They need at least a football field worth of room to run and play. They also need stimulation and enrichment to prevent boredom and frustration. They may enjoy chasing mechanical toys or seeing their prey before eating it. However, they may also get easily stressed by noise, crowds, or unfamiliar situations. Cheetahs are social animals that form bonds with their siblings or mates in the wild. In captivity, they may benefit from having another cheetah or compatible animal as a companion.
In conclusion, buying a cheetah is not a realistic or advisable option for most people who want to have an exotic pet. Cheetahs are wild animals that belong in the wild and not in human homes. They have complex legal, ethical, and