Saturday, 13 September 2014

Cheetah chase

Masai Mara

We had a car to ourselves for the first time, which gave us room to move from side to side depending where the game was. We had a beautiful sunrise and came across a family of spotted hyenas.

Spotted Hyena
Spotted Hyena Cub
Tawny Eagle
Thompson Gazelle's fighting
We got word that a lion was chasing a cheetah out of their territory. As we approached we could see the lion returning to its pride, and saw some other cars in the distance. Moving towards the other cars, we found the cheetah sitting in a bed of rocks, completely surrounded by lots of rocks all over the large area. It was very difficult to find a way in to get close enough to photograph her, so Lindsay stood up through the roof and guided our driver in. The cheetah sat catching his breath from the chase for quite sometime. Everyone else left but we decided to sit and wait a while to see what might happen. He finally got up and went for a long long walk, spraying his scent, marking his territory and smelling other trees along the way. At one stage two Jackals started harassing the cheetah as they want him to go hunting as that also means food for them. He chased them away a number of times and they would just come back and bark at him again! He walked a fair way and we just kept following him.

Then we spotted a mother and baby gazelle. So did the cheetah. After walking casually, the cheetah then went into hunting mode, lay low in the grass and waited. Then the chase was on, it only lasted a few moments and the calf became the cheetah’s meal. The poor mother just stood there wondering what on earth had just happened. He went so fast and far that it was impossible to photograph all the way, but I did manage to get a few shots. We didn’t actually see when he took the poor animal down. We drove up to where she was catching his breath and looking around for potential threats and watched her eat his prey. Cheetah’s only kill what they can eat and they don’t store their food anywhere. The lions kill for the joy of it and if they have enough to eat, then just leave the other kills for other animals such as jackals. Leopold’s store their kills in trees and eat over a couple of days.

We've started to see a lot of warthog families. They seem to have about six piglets, so when you see less, you know they've lost some of them to predators. They are so funny the way they run and they are super fast, so it's difficult to actually get a shot of them. As soon as we go anywhere near them, they're off!

Water Monitor 
Crested Francolin

Warthog family

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