The cheetah pair vs the baboon troop

Cheetah and baboon troop by Andrew Batchelor

These two cheetahs have been spending a lot of time hunting in the open areas around the Mlowathi Dam. The pair was found moving through the open area looking for something to hunt.

Inconveniently, the impala were all milling around Mlowathi Dam.

The males were chasing each other around, while the females huddled together in the cool morning. The cheetahs watched the herd from the far side, but with so much open area between prey and predator, it was a stale mate.

The resident black backed jackal pair took exception to the cheetahs resting in ‘their’ territory, and started alarm calling in their direction in an attempt to force them out. The cheetahs eyed the jackals, but showed no sign of moving. That is, until the resident baboon troop joined in the challenge of getting rid of the unwanted predators.

Led by the alpha males, the troop quickly advanced on the unwelcome twosome. The cheetahs eventually acquiesced, and retreated to the bush line where the mother lay down to watch the advancing baboons from a safe vantage point. The young female decided to face the troop head on, and even went so far as to mock charge them a few times.

The baboons slowly flanked her, and like a gang of soccer hooligans began hurling insults. As they closed in on the over-confident youngster, the troop’s ranks suddenly exploded into an all-out sprint. This sent the cheetah sprinting back to her mother. The two then quickly “high tailed” it into the bush, with the baboons hot on their heels.

But in a sprint between athletes and hooligans, the athletes always win. The cheetahs easily maneuvered through the scrub and out of harm’s way.

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