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Chasing Cheetahs: The Race to Save Africa's Fastest Cat

Review

Chasing Cheetahs: The Race to Save Africa's Fastest Cat

written by Sy Montgomery, illustrated by Nic Bishop
Author Sy Montgomery takes us on her trip to Namibia to visit the headquarters of the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF). The cheetah is the fastest land animal, with speeds up to 70 MPH. They used to be abundant in the wild, but their numbers have dwindled from more than 100,000 to less than 10,000. The CCF was started in 1990 with the goal of saving the cheetah from extinction. Since then, they’ve rescued over 900 of the animals, allowing most of them to return to the wild.
 
A beautifully illustrated and very informative book
 
Laurie Marker heads a team of scientists at the CCF. They study the cheetah’s “ecological, genetic, and behavioral patterns” in an effort to save these beautiful animals. The farmers in Namibia were largely responsible for the steady decline in the cheetah population --- the cheetahs killed the livestock, so the farmers killed the cheetahs. But, killing the cheetahs disturbed the ecology of the region, threatening more than just the wild animals. Today, the CCF acts as a liaison between the farmers and the animals in order to “promote cohabitation in an ecosystem that cannot thrive without the precious and predatory cheetah.”
 
This is a beautifully illustrated and very informative book. The photos by Nic Bishop are magnificent. The author includes extra info and sidebars throughout the book with facts about cheetahs, a section that explains how DNA is used to save these beautiful animals, a section about conservancies and more. There is also a Table of Contents, a map of Namibia, a Bibliography and Resources list, a list of Additional Photo Credits, Acknowledgements, and an Index. The book is part of the publisher’s Scientists in the Field series.
 
I think CHASING CHEETAHS would be a great reference book for anyone learning about cheetahs. Not only is it informative, it is also well-written. The cover photo will draw you in, and the text and subsequent photos will keep you interested.

Reviewed by Christine Irvin on May 13, 2014

Chasing Cheetahs: The Race to Save Africa's Fastest Cat
written by Sy Montgomery, illustrated by Nic Bishop

  • Publication Date: November 7, 2017
  • Genres: Nature, Science
  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 1328740897
  • ISBN-13: 9781328740892