A Cheetah Kill!
To see Cheetahs feeding on a kill is an infrequent sighting, as these large cats usually eat quickly and then leave the remains of their prey to other bush creatures. But seeing them killing an animal right in front of you is very rare, indeed.
Yesterday morning was the second time I ever observed these fast cats taking down an antelope.
Thanda’s Cheetah brothers chased an Nyala bull and killed him right in front of our vehicle. Unfortunately I was driving at the time, following them over a hill crest, so I got no pictures of the actual kill, but I got a few picture before and after the take-down.
The Thanda Safari guests on this evening game drive were very excited about this very special sighting!
Pictures and text by Christian Sperka – Resident Wildlife Photographer – Thanda Safari
More about Cheetahs
Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) are active mainly during the day, with hunting being their major activity. Adult males are often sociable, forming groups called “coalitions”. They will stalk their prey, then charge towards it, kill it by tripping it during the chase and then biting its throat to suffocate it to death. The prey is then usually taken to a shaded place. Cheetahs, highly exhausted after the chase, rest beside their kills and pant heavily for quite a while. They can consume large quantities of food (as much as 10 kilograms (22 lb) within two hours) and they need to remain on lookout for large carnivores who might steal the prey. Cheetah will surrender their kills to sturdier carnivores such as lions, leopards, spotted hyena, brown hyena, and wild dogs. They lose many of their kills to other predators.
Cheetahs are the fastest land animals. The speed of a hunting Cheetah averages 64 km/h (40 mph) during a sprint; the chase is interspersed with a few short bursts of extra speed, when the animal can clock 112 km/h (70 mph).
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