Friday, March 27, 2009

Cheetahs kill zebra


MASAI MARA WILDLIFE UPDATE

27 March 2009

The three brothers kills a Zebra

Today at about 5pm, I was following the three male cheetahs who are Honey’s cubs. They had been lying under a balanite tree almost the whole day due to the heat.

At around that particular time, one of the brothers noticed some zebras walking in a distance. He begun to stalk, and with the aid of the long grass, he was able to get very close to a good striking distance for a cheetah. His brothers who were left behind quickly read his body language and also moved closer.

The lead male made a dash for a sub adult zebra and gave chase. Since he was reasonably close he got up with it. He went straight for the throat avoiding vicious kicks from the zebra. Soon his brothers joined and surprisingly they went on to tear the rear side of the zebra while the other male kept trying to choke it on the throat. It took about 14 minutes for the zebra to die, all the while the two cheetah were enjoying a meal.

This is quite unusual for cheetah, since they are known to kill their prey before eating. However, the cheetahs have come to learn to feed quickly while in this area due to the presence of a large pack of hyaenas and a 16 member strong pride of lions who can easily displace the cheetahs from their kill.

This was the third zebra in weeks killed by the brothers. It seems they have developed a liking for them. We just hope they will be careful enough, otherwise an approach from the wrong angle can earn one a deathly kick.

These three have now graduated to going for bigger prey, which is easier for them since they are staying together.
Paul Kirui
Masai Mara Game Reserve

1 comment:

True Cat Lover said...

I Love these updates. They are informative, moving and filled with the kind of details that makes us want to protect these endearing animals. Thank you so much.