This gorgeous lady is known as a King Cheetah, though in this case she should more properly be referred to as a Queen Cheetah methinks! Ever since I first laid eyes on a picture of one many years before, I'd dreamt of what I considered to be an impossible dream: an up close encounter with this exquisitely beautiful feline. Then last year, during a 6-day stay at a rescued cat reserve in South Africa, there I was inside an enclosure - at times only an arms-length away - from this regal beauty …... just goes to show, dreaming's good; dreams are there to be realised and life has an uncanny way of lending a hand :^)
King Cheetahs are not actually a separate specie, they are in fact still Cheetahs with the only difference being a recessive gene that seem to join some of their spots together on their coats, and three parallel black stripes that stretch down along each side of their spine from the nape of their neck to the base of their tail.
The first recorded finding of this very rare animal was back in 1926 in Zimbabwe, and apparently there has only been six sightings of King Cheetahs in the wild in all. It was suggested to me that at one time there may have been more, but the large, darker patterns didn't serve them well when it came time to hide from their primary nemesis, the Lion, which may have brought about their demise.
Thanks for your time in reading this those of you that do, and whether you're reading this or not, wishing you all a beautiful weekend ahead filled with golden light :^)