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Cheetahs are excellent hunters. First of all they approach their prey very carefully until they are within a few metres, then when the time is right, they run at lightning speed. If the fleeing prey suddenly changes direction, the Cheetah can simply turn its body mid-leap. Its flexible spine makes this possible. However, if they have no success after a few hundred metres, they have to give up. The high speed is so energy-sapping, they can only keep it up for a short distance.