Cheetah numbers in Africa, Middle East and central parts of Asia have dropped dramatically from 100 000 animals at the start of the 20th century to about 7 500. In the Kruger National Park the population estimates are between 120 and 160 animals. If you get to see one or more you are really lucky, it is like finding the needle in a very large haystack. Raising cubs as a single mother is very difficult. The cubs have to be kept safe from all the other predators that will very easily and readily kill them. She also has to provide for all the hungry mouths and they are already eating meat at about six weeks old. Cheetahs do not do well with competition from other predators, often losing kills to lions and hyenas. They avoid any confrontation because they cannot risk injury to themselves as this could result in them being unable to hunt. Females give birth to between one and six cubs. The mother we’ve been so privileged to see managed to raise five cubs until they were about a year of age. She started to teach them to hunt at about four months by giving them live animals to play with, and at about six months they are making their own kills.