Cheetah Tattoos Bennington VT
Saint Albans, VT
Cheetah Tattoo Designs - As an animal totem and a tattoo design, the cheetah symbolizes swiftness, insight and focus. Of all the big cats, the cheetah is the fastest, capable of reaching speeds of more than 100 km/h - 68 mph - in 3 seconds. This dazzling display of acceleration makes the cheetah the fastest land animal on the planet and helps account in part for its immense popularity. With its small head, narrow waist and long tail, the cheetah is built for speed. A deep chest accommodates a heart that accelerates rapidly when giving chase. Its success as a hunter depends on its speed and the ability to finish off its prey with one powerful bite to the throat. Devouring its kill before other predators arrive on the scene is essential for the cheetah, since the physical toll of the chase leaves it exhausted and vulnerable. Hauling its prey high into a tree - like its close cousin, the leopard - is beyond the cheetah's ability. For these reasons, the cheetah is also among the shyest and most reclusive of the big cats.
African legend recounts how the tawny cheetah got the black markings known as 'tear stains', which appear to stream from its eyes. Believing that her cubs had been stolen by an unscrupulous hunter, the mother cheetah abandoned her kill to search for them. Meanwhile, the hunter stole her hard-earned kill. So long did the cheetah sob that tears made channels through the fur. Justice prevailed in the end, and the cubs were returned and the hunter punished.
The cheetah's 'tear stains' became a reminder that the sacred traditions of the hunt must prevail, making the cheetah a symbol of honour and respect.
Possessed of a relatively timid nature, cheetah cubs have long been trained as pets and hunters for their aristocratic owners. More than five thousand years ago, the Sumerians boasted this beautiful and elegant creature as a royal pet, and Genghis Khan was known for his many cheetah companions. Ancient Egyptians revered it as a goddess, while the Greek god, Dionysus, had the cheetah draw his chariot. Ethiopian royalty of a later era, displayed the cheetah as a status symbol.
Once common in Europe, North America and Asia, the cheetah now roams only in parts of Africa, and more rarely in remote areas of Iran, home of the Asiatic cheetah, whose history goes back to a time when the kings of ancient Persia trained the cheetah to hunt the gazelle. Until a few hundred years ago, so common was the cheetah in south and central Asia, that it was a popular creature in Moghul paintings.
Lacking a robust constitution - inbreeding has weakened its gene pool - the cheetah falls prey to stronger predators. As high as 90% of all cheetah cubs are killed by lions, leopards, and the wild dogs. Though hunted for its fabulous spotted coat, the cheetah's survival is threatened more by climate change and loss of habitat. As a much revered and admired animal, authorities in Africa and Iran are making efforts ...