Friday, July 15, 2011

Cheetahs...not the rugby team

Acinonyx jihadis...the cheetah,is the only living member of this genus



There is certainly no more beautiful sight than finding a Cheetah while on a game drive...




The original "Big 5",





lion...



Rhino...White...




Or the more elusive Black...



Elephant...



Leopard...well not this particular one( this was ranger Lino pretending)



and the incredibly bad tempered Cape buffalo, were all hunted for sport which is how they made the list...




Why then was the cheetah not hunted a trophy? There does not seem to be an answer to that,however finding one of these magnificent creatures on a game drive certainly gets my camera motor-drive going double time...




This Cheetah is trying to pretend to be a ground squirrel...the tail is normally used as a rudder when running at full speed during a chase.




I was extremely lucky to find these two brothers on my first game drive out of Melton Manor on my recent trip to Kwandwe.




The one brother is collared for research purposes only! The vehicles do not carry tracking devices during game drives...




Both brothers we relaxed and we were able to stay with them for quite some time as they went about their territory marking...




Just like most cats they rely on spraying to mark...their range is larger than that of either lion or leopard and that keeps then constantly updating their boundary marking




In fact, the one got so carried away that he sprayed his brother in the face...not pleasant I am sure...but it did not seem to phase the animal at all.




We eventually left them as the light faded...





Our final cheetah sighting was on our way back to check out...unfortunately for us this mother and two cubs were lying in an inaccessible area and this was as close as we could get...
A great send off...

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