Cheetah Cubs: Four Furballs at 2 Months
Shot at Ndutu Safari Lodge, Tanzania in February 2015 with the 1Dx and Canon 500mm f/4 II
This was another awesome safari where my goal was to find cheetah cubs under 2 months old. We were extremely lucky to find this family because the Southern open plains were hot, dry and dusty due to serious lack of rain. This meant that food was nowhere to be seen and it was tough on all of the big cats. We finally found this family by searching under every possible tree where they might be sheltering themselves from the hot sun. Even though the young cubs were vulnerable to predators - being at the bottom of the food chain in these dry conditions - Mom was superb at keeping the cubs safe while traveling great distances totally exposed.
We also monitored one month old cheetah triplets tucked away in the tall grasses of the Big March in hopes that Mom would bring them out. The cubs were as cute as can be as they romped around near their den. But unfortunatelly for us, it wasn't meant to be.
My sense of urgency for seeing and sharing these endearing images is because there are less than 7,000 cheetahs left in the wild, down from 14,000 in the 70's. The decline has escalated due to shrinking habitats and those horrible poachers. It's predicted that the population will be down another 50% in 15 years. Net:net: every cheetah is precious and they need to be protected. Kudos to the work done by the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) which is supported by our donations.
All images © Christina J. Prestegard 2004 -2024. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.