A comical chase

Kruger National Park | June 2018

This month, there were at least 16 different sightings of cheetahs. All of these sightings were of a group of five sub-adult cheetahs that have been frequenting Rhino Skull and the N4 area close to the Gudzani Dam.

On the afternoon of the 16th, the five were found where they were resting in an open clearing, enjoying the last warming rays of the winter sun. As the golden light started to fall, the cats started to become more active. Big yawns, stretches and clawing of trees ensued, and with that, a black-backed jackal spotted the cats.

Being an opportunistic scavenger, the jackal, quite brazenly walked up towards the cheetahs. It was quite obvious that the one cat was becoming annoyed with the canine’s presence, as his tail started to swish and twitch ever so slightly from side to side. The jackal made the mistake of turning its back to the cats, and that is when the irritable cat seized the opportunity to chase after the jackal.

Being chased by the fastest predator on land, the jackal tried his best to steer clear of the cat’s fast approaching claws. It was rather comical watching how he tucked his tail and tried to swerve to get away from the rapidly approaching sprinter. Puffs of dust filled the air as he managed to barely get away from the cheetah, who eventually decided to give up on the chase and return to the rest of the coalition members. A loud bout of laughter filled the air from all guides and guests on the safari vehicles.