A female cheetah teaching her cubs to hunt

Grumeti | September 2020

I was on normal full day game drive with two guests from Faru Faru Lodge. I drove to Sabora plain where I spotted a female cheetah with two male cubs that were about a year old. The grasses were short and there were no many ungulates nearby, except a few topis and Thomson’s gazelles at a distance.

The mother cheetah was looking around to see if she could target any prey animals nearby. With no prospects she decided to walk towards the eastern side of the plain where the topis and Thomson’s gazelles ware grazing. When she was about two hundred meters from the gazelles, she started stalking, but because the grass was too short the gazelles saw her and ran away. The cubs were following their mother.

The cat family lay down to rest under a small sickle bush. After some time the mother started looking around and then decided to walk towards a herd of topis which was about a 150 meters away. After walking for a few meters she started stalking again, and I thought she was stalking one of the topis. Finally she started running and in front of her we saw a small Thomson’s gazelle fawn running away!

The cubs were running as well  to join the mother, but then the female cheetah stopped and let the cubs continue to chase the fawn while she watched. When the fawn stopped the cubs also stopped, and when the fawn ran the cubs gave chase. This action continued for about forty minutes until the mother ran in and joined the cubs, this time showing them how to bring down and kill the prey animal. It was so interesting to watch but very sad for the loss of Thomson’s gazelle fawn.