Cheetahs and jaguarundis are the cougar’s closest living relatives. Interesting that this spotless cheetah has the same black markings on the muzzle as a cougar, but not a black-tipped tail.
Animal picture of the day: the spotless cheetah
A strange cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) has been photographed in Kenya by wildlife artist Guy Combes. The “golden” cheetah’s telltale spots are bizarrely diluted.
“Scientists believe it is a ‘morph’ due to a recessive gene and not an albino or leucistic variation which makes this cheetah, like the king cheetah of South Africa and Zimbabwe, extremely unusual. There is hope that his existence may shine a spotlight on the fact that there are approximately 1,000 cheetahs left in Kenya and they are rapidly losing ground to human development,” Combes told mongabay.com, noting that such spotless cheetahs were recorded in the 1920s but have been rarely sighted since. Combes photographed the animal early last year.