The Northwest African cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus hecki) is a critically endangered cheetah with the overall population is estimated at 250 individuals only. The cheetah lives in the western Saharan desert which is why it is also called Saharan cheetah or Senegal cheetah.
Henri Marie Ducrotay, a French zoologist, was likely the first person to recognize the Saharan cheetah back in 1943.
Unlike other African cheetahs, the northwest African cheetah shows almost white coat. The spots are also not so numerous as they occur in other subspecies.
They will eat Dorcas gazelle, dama gazelle, Rhim gazelles, and other antelopes. Saharan cheetahs live fairly tough life in that they do not often drink water. It is a highly useful adaptation to survive the extreme conditions. They make up the water deficiency by drinking the animal’s blood.
Algeria is home to the largest population of northwest African cheetah. Alongside Algeria it also lives in Sahel, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Saharan desert. There was a time when Saharan cheetahs were quite widespread throughout the Western Africa including Libya, Egypt, and Morocco.
They have the ability to survive the extreme weather conditions. Saharan cheetah lives in a desert where the temperature can reach up to 113 degree Fahrenheit.
Saharan cheetahs usually live alone because they are solitary animals. However during the breeding season the mother is often found with her cubs.