Of all the wonderful times on our safari, I think the one I loved most was the two afternoons we spent with a mama cheetah and her five furball cubs in the Mara. We saw other cheetahs, but this experience was super special.
Because females are loners, raising a large litter is difficult. With five babies, this mama had to bring home the bacon every day. And this one certainly did. We watched intently as she moved from termite mound to termite mound, looking for prey and relaxing with her brood.
We knew something was bound to happen. When she spotted the perfect meal – something small enough for her to handle but big enough to feed a crowd – she told her babies to hide in the grass (yes, told using sounds) and expertly went after it.
After making the kill, she carried the prey closer to where her children waited, and quite distinctively called them over.
Dinner was served. Sometimes they ate as a group. But at times, mama sat up and looked for danger. Her cubs are themselves quite vulnerable to predation.
The first afternoon, it began raining hard when they were half way through eating. However, in nature, that does not stop the meal. Can you see the rain drops and soaking wet fur in this picture?
Not long before sunset, the storm cleared.
And the wet cats huddled together for the evening.