Cheetah are not something I see very often. They are considered the weakest of the big predators because they have difficulty surviving in an area where they are competing with lion for food. I spend a lot of time in the Hluhluwe/Imfalozi Park (it is my ultimate happy place) and there is a healthy population of cheetah there but I still don’t seem to see them. That being said, I was visiting the park recently and stumbled upon an incredible cheetah siting.
We literally nearly ran into these animals. I spend my time on game drives putting my eyes to the test and looking for any sign of life under bushes, in trees, long grass and anywhere else where something exciting may just be; camouflaged, hidden. So when we came around a bend to find a pair of Cheetah running literally at our vehicle, it was quite an experience. They’re fast, I mean obviously they’re fast but their speed is not something I had given much thought to before this day. I no longer consider them weak in any way shape or form, these animals have tremendous power!
They are considered part of the dog family rather then the cat family because of their non-retractable claws. I’ve always had a slight issue with this because they just don’t look like dogs. But during the moments I shared with these two Cheetah, I realized just how dog-like their behaviour is. They were adolescents and probably siblings, and the way they reminded me of my Ridgeback puppies was uncanny. They were so hyper, bouncing and pouncing all over the bush, trees and each other. They are magnificent to watch, those tear drop markings that somehow look anything but sad are down right beautiful.
I have a new found level of admiration for these special animals.