Africa

What’s Cuter than Cheetah Cubs Playing in the Mara? Not much. [Video]

I could feel that familiar squeeze in my chest. A pressure that only comes when something is so cute your brain can’t fully handle the reaction and invites your heart to join in.

Cheetah and cubs in Kenya

Thirty feet away, two cheetah cubs were chasing each other at high-speed around a bush. First to the right—around and around—and then left, the chasee becoming the chaser reversing the circle. Their mother, a gorgeous, lanky creature, watched them spin. Just another day on the Masai Mara.

cheetah cubs run around a bush

The speckled-grey spit fires tackled and tripped each other again and again, stopping only to catch their breath, their tiny furry chests heaving. Within seconds, one would pounce on the other and the game was back on.

Play is a crucial element in predator development. Each thwack, each pounce, each attac, hones the necessary skills they’ll need as adults. It’s just a bonus that life in training is so damn adorable to watch.

SPortnoy_20150926_4491-Edit

One cub tries to trip its sibling as they play, a common tactic used to bring down prey during a hunt

 

SPortnoy_20150926_4459-Edit

Mom becomes just another obstacle to run around

 

SPortnoy_20150926_4523

A brief rest period results in a bath for one of the cubs…..

SPortnoy_20150926_4586

Post bath, mom becomes another victim of the assault

SPortnoy_20150926_4595-Edit

After a full half hour of running, the tuckered out cubs take a break

~Taken while I was a guest of Mara Plains Camp, Kenya

58 replies »

Please feel free to comment, contribute or ask questions. I would love to hear from you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s