Saturday , July 13 2024
Do Cheetahs Attack Humans

Do Cheetahs Attack Humans? Here’s The Truth 

If you are curious about the behaviors of cheetahs, then you probably might have wondered, do cheetahs attack humans? 

Cheaters are viewed by many as the epitome of agility and electrifying speed in the animal kingdom. 

While they are considered formidable hunters, many are curious to know if these vulnerable animals are human threats. 

Here, we’ll explore the behaviors of cheetahs toward humans and look into what you need to do when you encounter it in the wild. 

So, Do Cheetahs Attack Humans?

Yes. Cheetahs might launch an attack on humans instinctively if they feels cornered or sense that their offspring is in danger. 

However, they are not considered a threat to humans as they are typically shy and tend to avoid humans. Maintaining a safe distance from cheetahs and respecting their space is generally advisable. 

Cheetah’s Behaviors Towards Humans

Though cheetahs are recognized as daunting hunters that are fast and agile, they fear and shy away from humans. They are not aggressive toward people and fond of avoiding human contact. 

However, you shouldn’t be too comfortable around them as there are a few incidents in which they have attacked humans. 

In 2008, Judy Berens, the owner of Panther Ridge Conservation Center in Florida, was conducting an exhibition with two cheetahs when one of them pounced at her. 

At some point, the other cheetah joined the attack, and she was left with multiple injuries. It is said that the cheetah got excited about a bouncing ball and ran toward it. 

However, it was unfortunate that Miss Judy was on the way, and her cheetah instinctively attacked her. Therefore, even if you are respected a cheetah’s space, it won’t hurt to be extra careful. 

But What Might Trigger A Cheetah To Lay An Attack On A Human?

Even though cheetahs are not aggressive towards humans, you should learn to keep your distance regardless of the circumstance. Nonetheless, here are some of the reasons why a cheetah might attack a human: 

1. If it Feels Threatened

A shy cheetah might instinctively attack a human if it feels threatened. In 2012, D’Mello Violet, from Aberdeen, Scotland, was attacked by a cheetah in a small petting pen at a game reserve in South Africa. 

Reports suggested that she was attacked in pursuit of trying to save a little girl that another family had grabbed. 

Photos that circulated showed her playing dead on the ground after sustaining injuries on her head, stomach, and legs. 

A cheetah that feels threatened will tend to attack you first before you attack it. Therefore, you should be extra careful in a cheetah’s territory. 

2. To Protect Its Offspring 

It is the instinctive nature of any animal, even a chicken, to launch an attack when it senses its young one is in danger. Avoid playing with a cheetah’s cubs, especially when you don’t know where it is. 

Ways In Which You Could Prepare To Go And Visit Cheetahs

Though cheetah attacks are often malicious, it doesn’t mean you can’t visit them and appreciate their beauty. 

If you go to see some cheetahs in the wild, there are some safety precautions you could take to ensure you are prepared for the worst. Here’s how you can prepare for the worst: 

1. Bring A Dog 

Dogs are good at detecting stealthy animals and are perfect for helping you detect some extremely stealthy cheetahs in the wild. A dog can also detect a cheetah nearby with its keen sense of smell. 

Heading out in the wild with your dog is a great idea, and it can be a perfect chance for it to get some good exercise and have fun with you. 

It can also be protective and even scare the cheetah away. The Kangal and Anatolian shepherd are the preferred breeds to deter cheetah attacks. 

2. Get Your First Aid Kit

Carrying a first aid kit when visiting a cheetah in the wild is a great idea. It will help clean wounds resulting from a cheetah attack. 

Besides, the wild is scary with prey and predators; you never know what might be waiting for you in the bushes. 

Ensure your first aid kit box is loaded with fresh and new suppliers to avoid some great inconveniences. 

3. Stay In Your Car

Always close your windows and stay in your car when you are in the wild. Not only will it save you from cheetah attacks but also from other animals. Enjoy the view of the wild from the sunroof on top of your car and appreciate its beauty.  

4. Obey Your Guide

Tour guides always want what is best for us, and their main intention is to allow us to view the wild safely. Listen to what your tour guide always says and ask questions when challenged. 

Tour guides also have adequate training on handling cheetahs in all circumstances, and staying close to them is a good idea. 

How To Go About On A Cheetah Attack

If you, unfortunately, encounter a cheetah in the wild, here are some things you could try to survive an attack:

1. Scare The Cheetah 

Cheetahs often avoid areas with predators like hyenas and lions. Therefore, if you have recordings of hyena or lion noises, it could come in handy at such an encounter. Since lions are perceived as bigger threats than hyenas, it is advisable to have a recording of a lion. 

Play the recording out loud. If you notice the cheetah approaching you, it might get scared and run away. 

2. Do Not Follow It

Pursuing a cheetah in the wild might be tempting as you want to learn more about its behavior. However, you do not realize that following a cheetah causes tension towards it, and it might take you as a threat and attack you. 

3. Slowly Move Away

If you spot yourself close to a cheetah, maintain eye contact and slowly back away. Do not get tempted to run, as a cheetah will instinctively go after you. 

Nonetheless, cheetahs can achieve up to 60 miles an hour; you will stand no chance against it. Avoid showing any signs of fear or making sudden movements. 

In April 2017, Lio Peggy was touring the Emdoneni Lodge in South Africa when a cheetah tried to bite her when she swiftly tried to break from its grasp. She was, however, lucky that it did not have rabies. 

Therefore, you shouldn’t make any sudden movements in the presence of a cheetah. 

4. Intimidate It 

If you notice the cheetah approaching you aggressively, stand your ground to intimidate it. Make yourself larger by wide opening your arms and yelling at it.

If any device that you have to make the loudest noise possible. It might intimidate the cheetah, and it will quit pursuing you. 

5. Fight Back 

If you have tried the above methods without success, retaliating is your only survival option. Utilize any weapon around you but try not to kill it, as cheetahs are part of this planet’s endangered species of animals. 

African cheetahs are estimated to be around 6500 to 7000 in the wild today. Therefore, killing it will increase its chances of extinction. A good way of fighting it is by kicking it in the chest before it attacks. You might be wise. 

If you have a knife, you could aim for its eyes or neck to inflict pain. If you find yourself in this situation unarmed, press your thumbs into its eyes, and the pain might trigger it to leave you alone. 

A cheetah attacked a 14-year-old boy named Isaac Driver after the tour guides allowed them to pat it gently. His dad had to press down the cheetah to free his son before the situation was put under control. 

If Isaac’s dad hadn’t fought back, the cheetah would have seriously injured him. 

6. Play Dead 

If the cheater has overpowered you, do not scream or struggle anymore. Hold your pain, slow down your breath, and close your eyes while assuming a fetus position to play dead. There is no recorded story of a cheetah attacking a human for food. 

Therefore, if you play dead, it is likely to go away after crowning itself victorious. Remember to protect your neck at all costs, as cheetahs tend to target it when launching attacks. 

7. Seek Assistance

If your companions are nearby, call for their support. Sometimes, sending off a wild cheetah by yourself might be challenging. When the cheetah sees it has been greatly outnumbered, it will run away to save its own life. 

If you go out in the wild, always be around your friends and family. In 2013, the famous comedian Adam Sandler was pounced by a cheetah as they were filming the movie, Blended. The cheetah was quickly pulled off, and he was not injured. 

This incident shows the importance of having people around you near a cheetah. 


The answer to the question, do cheetahs attack humans? It is not as straightforward, yes or no. While there are rare cases of cheetahs attacking humans, most result from reckless human behavior. 

Cheetahs are not a considerable threat to humans; they even try to avoid possible human contact in their endeavors. Maintaining a safe distance is crucial to minimize the risk of encounters with cheetahs. 

You must educate people on how to coexist with cheetahs, as they are highly vulnerable. It is a sure way to ensure we see them in future generations. 

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