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A whole family of cheetahs gathering under a tree with dramatic clouds buid up which creates an electric scene and makes it a very unique photograph where the landscape plays a an important role as the animals.
I felt like a special guest on that day, invited to the territory of the well-known cheetah “Mama Africa”. What a name! I felt excited, almost nervous, when we approached her habitat.
Mysterious dark clouds moved low and the smell of thunderstorm in the air! My guide spotted them already through his binoculars. I hoped that she would let us come closer without being disturbed.
There she sat with such grace, her young cubs, six of them, gathered around her near a tree. What a perfect scene!
Although it is usual for a cheetah to give birth to 6 cubs, it is quite extraordinary that the single mother manages to keep all of them so well fed and alive. A cheetah mom needs to protect her offspring from stronger predators like lions or hyenas and watch out that jackals or vultures do not steal her food. The critical part comes when she has to go and hunt and leave her cubs behind.
There she was, a mother that would give anything and everything for her offspring to survive!
Her eyes were looking out for some Thompson Gazelles in the nearby valley while one of her cubs looked in the opposite direction … for some possible danger?
About 20 minutes later, Mama Africa must have given her cubs the intimidate sign to stop following her further. The six youngsters gathered together in the grass while her mother continued to stalk upon the gazelles.
I was amazed by her strength and her grace and how she raised such beautiful and strong cheetah youngsters, an incredible mother indeed!