Friday, June 13, 2008

Something rare ,something sad and something out of this world in Madikwe!!!

On Tuesday the 11th of June the lodge was closed for maintenance. We got a guy in from Zeerust to sand the decks. He came in at Abjaterskop gate around 14:30. After he arrived we all chatted away in the office...........and so by the way he said " Do you have cheetah ( Acinonyx jubatus ) in the park ? " We all said, yeah we think there is 2 left. He replied " I just saw one of them taking down an impala not far from the lodge". I was stunned, grabbed my camera and of we went myself and Gavin, because this was a chance in a lifetime. We got the exact location from him and stayed in radio contact. There he was a few metres of the road still exhausted after the chase.

We positioned the vehicle and clicked away. He immediately started on the rump and every now and then made sure it was save to carry on eating. Unfortunately we didn't have any guests with us to share in this special moment but nevertheless it was still very special for us as rangers to see nature unfold in front of us................

The last time I saw this cheetah was in Feb 2008, so WOW................!!

Cheetahs are very special animals and unfortunately they are still being shot by farmers especially in the northern parts of S.A where there still is free roaming cheetahs, but fences and livestock farming are the biggest problems. Here are some interesting history on the cheetah. The first contact with humans was in India and on the plains of Southern Africa.

Captive cheetahs have been used by man for food hunting because of their speed. The oldest record of a captive cheetah is depicted on a decorated silver vase from a scythian burial site at Maikop in the Caucasus Range. This vase dates back to 700-300BC. Early man also scavenged from cheetah because of their daytime hunting habits. The Moghul emperor is also said to have kept up to 3000 cheetahs to hunt antelopes

Cheetah is derived from the hindi word in India known as chita which means the spotted one.

That is just a bit of history on these magnificent animals. They have been around longer than we thought!!!

Till next time, hope you enjoyed that!

Grant Marcus


Photo-Africa said...

And this will of course happen when I am out of the park!! :)

Nice shots!!

Mike said...

Very nice. Thanks for the pictures.