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Cheetahs at Okonjima, Namibia

Cheetah in long grass One 'cheetah activitiy' involves going out to feed two groups of Cheetahs which live in very large enclosure, from which all these photos were taken. These Cheetahs are long term 'rescue' animals who cannot be returned to the wild. The other is radio-tracking some of the other cheetahs whom it is hoped to be able to release one day.
(Photographers should note that all the cheetahs and leopards are radio-collared.)

An important difference between Cheetahs and Leopards is that baby Leopards know how to trip and strangle instinctively, but although Cheetahs have the instinct to chase and trip, they don't seem to know instinctively how to strangle - they are taught by their mothers. Therefore, if orphaned Cheetahs catch something,they can't 'finish the job', so the catch will make so much noise over a prolonged period that it will attract other predators and the Cheetah will lose it.
Cheetah profile The cheetahs are used to being fed from the Land Rover, and come bounding up eagerly, allowing for close-up observations.
The Cheetahs get food thrown down to them, but are equally happy to jump up onto the bonnet of the Land Rover, and eat from a bowl placed in the spare tyre, while the guide (Clinton in this case) explains about cheetahs and about Africat's cheetah rehabilitation work. Cheetah feeding from bowl
Clinton, with cheetah Africat are learning all the time.
This cheetah ('Deke') had a growth in his ear which was removed by a vet, who assumed the ear would return to normal when it healed - but it didn't!
One advantage of the Cheetah jumping up onto the bonnet is that you get a great view of the dewclaw, the 'weapon' the cheetah uses for bringing down its prey. Cheetah's dewclaw

More Cheetahs:


More Okonjima:

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