Rare Spotless Cheetah Photographed

05/02/2012

One of the most defining characteristics of the cheetah, after its legendary speed, is its spotted coat. That fact makes the photos recently taken by wildlife artist Guy Combes strange and fascinating.

Combes captured images of a very rare, spotless cheetah in Kenya.  Dubbed the "lesser-spotted cheetah," the animal has a tawny coat, not unlike that of a lion, with a scattering of tiny freckles--but no distinct black spots like a normal cheetah.

Combes heard about the creature roaming a vast 100,000 acre wilderness and set about tracking it via truck and even helicopter.   His diligence paid off when he was able to get within fifty yards of the animal to capture some stunning photos.

Below is one of Combes' pictures, via the Daily Mail's website.  Click over their website to see more photos of the spotless cheetah and read more about Combes' adventure finding it.

 

Cheetah

 

Here's a photo of a normal cheetah for comparison.

Cheetah-picture

 

 Get more great cheetah content from Animal Planet:


David Mizejewski is a naturalist with the National Wildlife Federation. His goal is to inspire others to appreciate the wonders of nature. Meet David >
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