Duma is the title character in the 1989 film Cheetah. She is an orphaned baby cheetah that was adopted by the two human protagonists, Ted and Susan. She is later captured by corrupt gamblers and forced to run against greyhounds in a dog race.


Because she was brought up like a pet, Duma has no idea how to be a real wild cheetah.

Role in the film

An abandoned baby Duma is found by two American teenagers, Ted and Susan and their native friend, Morogo. Morogo informs Ted that her mother is dead and that she was skinned by a poacher. When Susan learns of this, she immediately wants to adopt her. Although the others think that's crazy, she thinks it's the only way for her to survive.

Before the kids' visit is up, Duma has become coveted by a local Indian storekeeper, who figures he can make a fortune by racing the high-speed, low-endurance animal against local greyhounds and betting on Duma to lose.

Just before the kids are to head for home and a new school year, the storekeeper teams up with an opportunistic Englishman and the African poacher who killed Duma's mom to snatch the cheetah. The kids, who have been trying to prepare Duma for a return to life in the wild, are certain there has been foul play. So they miss their flight home and, while their unsuspecting parents are still waving at the plane, set out on a journey - with Morogo's help - into the wild to prove their suspicions.


  • "Duma" is Swahili for "cheetah".
  • She is unrelated to the Warner Bros. adventure movie Duma, which also involves a cheetah.