Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Cheetah Boys..........

Waking to another beautiful South African morning.


This morning game drive at MalaMala enabled me to check off more animals and birds in the booklet provided by our camp.  This is such a fabulous area of South Africa for viewing wildlife.  Leaving early, bundled up in fleece blankets to ward off the Winter chill, we headed out.  Soon we threw them aside, along with our jackets, and by mid-morning short sleeves were fine as it was in the seventies with clear blue skies, just perfect weather.


Soon met up with another vehicle - guests were already getting photos of the cheetah boys!  These cats were a total of four brothers. Males are very sociable and will group together for life, usually with their brothers from the same litter.


CHEETAH:  Acinonyx jubatus
An atypical member of the cat family that is unique in its speed, while lacking strong climbing abilities.  It is the fastest land animal, reaching speeds between 70 and 75 mph in short bursts covering distances up to 1,510 ft., and has the ability to accelerate from 0 to 64 mph in three seconds, faster than most supercars.

Males are very territorial and mark their territory by urinating, on objects that stand out such as trees, logs or termite mounds.  Males will attempt to kill any intruders and fights result in serious injury or death.



As mentioned, there were four of these boys, however I could only get two, and then these three together in one shot.  We said goodbye when they decided to rest in the warmth of the late morning - cheetah usually hunt for food early morning or in the evening before dark when prey are more visible to them.


I'm off again.................but not using this mode of transportation.  Have to admit the terrapins have found the hippo to be a great place for a layover, much more fun than an airport lounge!

9 comments:

  1. What gorgeous animals! Great photos, Mary.

    xo
    Claudia

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  2. Beautiful animals! I am really enjoying your blog Mary!
    Pamela xo

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  3. Amazing as always........what a trip we have had..ha..

    Blessings.....
    xoxoGert

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  4. Have a good trip. Love, love the cheetahs.

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  5. Cheetahs are superb animals, so lithe and graceful. I love that photo of the hippo covered in terrapins:) Presumably he/she acts as the local ferry!

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  6. Good morning Mary, How are you sun flowers growing?
    My grands left and my brother arrived. we stay busy here in the summer. We do not see him often, so this is a treat. He is a wonderful guy.
    The real treat is your awesome photos of the African wildlife. I dream come true. I scrolled down a few posts to catch up. What wonderful memories you have in photos alone. Lucky, You. Keep em coming. That Hippo looks scary and the monkey is a great shot. I think you must have seen it all. How about snakes? Oh boy, I wouldn't like that. Smile.

    Come over and meet my one and only brother.

    Love you my friend,
    Jeanne

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  7. I love the last photo! Mass transportation?!

    xoxo
    Deborah

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  8. So amazing! I never knew that the males would group together (and they talk about females!). Love that last photo of the hippos with its passengers!!
    Take Care,
    Ulrike

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  9. Wow, what an awesome trip! My dream trip is to do an African Safari. Love the Cheetah photos and the hippo with the turtles. How cool and what great sightings. Now I have to find your other Safari photos.

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