The King Cheetah is a rare mutation of the cheetah characterized by a distinct fur pattern. It was first noted in what was then Southern Rhodesia (modern-day Zimbabwe) in 1926. Although strangely marked pelts had come from Africa, a live king cheetah was not photographed until 1974 in South Africa’s Kruger National Park. It has been known to exist in Zimbabwe, Botswana and in the northern part of South Africa’s Transvaal province. A recessive gene must be inherited from both parents for this pattern to appear, which is one reason why it is so rare.