The last 2 remaining cheetah of a coalition in the Maasai Mara take down a Topi in an intense and high-speed chase to survive.
Ivan Glaser, (madaboutmara) a 61-year-old travel consultant and photographic guide, captured the hunt on camera and shared it with LatestSightings.com.
“On a recent trip to the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, we found two cheetah resting under a bush in the heat of the day, and we settled down for what we thought could be a long wait before they would start hunting.”
“After a very short wait, a lone Topi came running towards where the Cheetah were lying, and, as quick as a flash, the Cheetah went from resting into hunting mode. Reacting almost as quickly as the cheetah. My guide, Jackson Ronko, from the Oltepesi Tented Safari Camp, positioned our vehicle strategically. Anticipating the Topi’s path of escape from the cheetahs.”
These two Cheetah are the survivors of the very famous “Tano Bora” coalition of five Cheetah, who were the highlight of the mara for many years. Three of them died over the past two years. Two were apparently killed by the others for various reasons, and one was killed by a lion.
“As anticipated by Jackson, the Topi ran along the ridge line in our direction. The Cheetah pounced only about 30 meters from where we had stationed ourselves. The Topi is much heavier than the Cheetah so they can’t rely on just their weight to pull it down. They cleverly employ a tactic of grabbing at the Topi’s leg with their claws to try and get the Topi to misstep and fall. Once it falls, the hunt is usually over. The entire hunt was over in just 30 seconds”
These two cheetahs almost always hunt large game like topi and adult zebra. Even though they can only really consume a small amount of such large prey. They are about 8.5 years old now and probably can’t run fast enough to catch the more nimble gazelles.
“Getting good images of cheetahs hunting requires more than just photographic skills. It’s essential to understand the behavior of the animals as well as the terrain to position yourself in the right place for the best view of the hunt. That’s where a skilled and knowledgeable guide like Jackson Ronko comes in to play.”