The two cheetah brothers that have been dominant on the property for some time, have been scarce of late. The last occasion in which both brothers were seen together was on the 28th of January. Since then, only one of the brothers has been sighted. In the early stages of February we found the lone male hunting around the Mlowathi River. This is certainly the furthest west that either of the brothers has been recorded. The male was successful in his hunt, and two days later he was back on familiar ground around Clarendon dam. It is of slight concern that his brother was not around, but it is even more worrying that the male was not contact-calling nor looking for his brother. Where there were once four of these males, it would now appear that there is only one remaining.
The cheetah female and her cubs have been stealing the show, and sightings of them have been very consistent. They have been spending more time in the northern reaches of MalaMala, where they had an encounter with the above-mentioned male cheetah. It was a peaceful passing, which is a sure indication that one of the brothers is the father of the cubs. There were originally four cubs, but there are unfortunately now only three after one died at Christmas-time. The cubs are growing at a rapid rate, and are slowly losing their manes that were once prominent along their necks and backs. The youngsters are extremely relaxed in the presence of vehicles, and provide excellent entertainment as they chase one another about within a safe radius of their mother!
Ranger – MalaMala Game Reserve