The cheetahs of Masaii Mara

So here are the cheetahs.  They seem to be more social that I’ve always been led to believe.  We always found them in twos or threes.

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As with the other cats, laying around doing nothing is a well-honed skill.  Until something is sighted in the distance.  I had mixed feelings about this event.  An orphaned wildebeest calf was following the vehicles.  Apparently, that’s what they do if they’ve lost their herd which often happens in the chaos of a river crossing.  When the vehicles moved out of the way, the cheetahs suddenly noticed its presence.  The calf was oblivious.

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As you can see, they are well hidden in the grass.  They were able to get quite close before they took off running.

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Fortunately, they were far away by the time they caught it and the grass was too long to see anything.  The calf was dead in seconds, much to my relief.

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I had to remind myself that the calf wouldn’t have lasted the night being on its own like that.  And because it was inevitable, I also considered it an honor (don’t ask me to explain that…) to witness such a thing.

This was the other part that bothered me.  But there we were…  And, as you can see, the cats were oblivious to them.

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This was another day….

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This is one of my favorites!!!  All that speed… you can just feel the potential just waiting in the body.

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I have so many pictures (since on my first two trips to Africa, I missed the cheetahs (live ones, that is).  It was hard to choose.

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There were leopards but sightings were not nearly as common as lions and cheetahs.  These cubs were playing with some left overs.  The grass was long and there were bushes around so it was hard to see them.  But every once in a while a head or butt would pop up.  They were apparently running up and down the bank and the people on the other side of the creek, had a very good view of them.

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Then, another day, one of this family wandered out on the rocks in the creek.  It had sprung out of the bushes trying to catch a mongoose.  Obviously, it missed.

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It sat for a brief moment, then took off up the creek and into more bushes.  I was lucky to have seen this one.  Most missed it.

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That’s it.  Except for the few pictures from Nairobi, including the elephant orphanage.

 

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4 thoughts on “The cheetahs of Masaii Mara

  1. Nice photos. I certainly understand why you were bothered. Since they are used to people, it makes it easier for poachers to get them.

  2. Cats, cats and more cats, the Mara certainly has plenty of them. Would be nicer if they had less vehicles but like you said, the animals are oblivious to the vehicles. Lovely photos Nancy. Always nice to come back and look at when I feel the need for an Africa fix.

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