You are here: Home - Tiny Moments - In the Wild

In the Wild

Posted by on July 1st, 2014 with 0 Comments

Cheetah Cub

There is nothing more graceful than a cheetah stalking its prey.

I watch the young cub slowly, gradually, sneak through the long grass. Its brother and sister join the back up team. Mum watches on.

Slowly, slowly, ever so slowly and then… run! It may not be full cheetah pace (110kmh), but it is quick and it is incredible to watch the animal’s muscles moving strongly, as they should, the leaps long, the back arched!

The ibis flies to a nearby tree. Foiled again!

The 8-month old cubs are very cute, but Mum is a truly beautiful animal. She is a King Cheetah, with deep coloured stripes and splotches rather than the traditional pattern of spots.

Naturally, our thoughts turn to peeled gazelle! The Munchkin is most annoyed he forgot to bring Cheetah along today. Cheetah is no doubt annoyed also. Peeled kangaroo would have been most welcome.

Yes, I have seen a wild cheetah stalk and chase a gazelle in the wilds of Africa. It is one of the highlights of my life (especially because the gazelle got away and I didn’t have to witness the gory after effects!) Today cannot replace that.

Today I am at the Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, not the wilds of Africa. No, it is not the same.

And yet…

We witnessed some young cheetahs stalk and chase a wild animal. There was not a big crowd around. The keeper had long gone and was not providing commentary (although the commentary the keeper did provide earlier was incredibly interesting and entertaining).

Zoos are not the ideal habitat for wild animals. They often leave me feeling sad and depressed, especially as someone who has witnessed these stunning animals in the wild. But through a zoo I can share my experience of Africa with my family. I can ensure that the Munchkin better understands the conservation issues at stake. I can help him relate his personal Cheetah Stories with these real-life, amazing animals, and maybe, just maybe, spark an interest that will, one day, send him to Africa too.

Today I am grateful.

PS. The peeled gazelle reference comes from Zoo of the Untrue, a set of illustrations which have become a family meme! Unfortunately the original site is no longer with us, but these brilliant images have been captured here.

King Cheetah, Zoo of the Untrue


Leave a Reply

Hi, I’m Cath

Cath Connell

Creating my amazing life one tiny moment at a time. Bringing the Hubby, a Munchkin and about a dozen tomato plants along for the ride.

Keep in touch