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Stunning images show cheetah cubs ‘playing’ with impala calf

This redefines the phrase “more than meets the eye.”

Several photographs of cheetah cubs running with an impala calf are more than they appear, according to the British news agency SWNS.

Though the photographs appear to show the four creatures running and playing, a closer look reveals that the mother cheetah took the impala calf from its mother and used the calf as a hunting lesson for the young cubs. Fortunately for the impala, the cheetah kittens do not yet have the murderous instinct, according to wildlife photographer Kurt Mueller.

“We chanced upon a cheetah mother with three cubs one evening,” Mueller, 75, said of the images shot at Kenya’s Olare Motorogi Conservancy, adding that the cheetah mother began to gaze at the group of impalas.

“We expected to see a chase that would separate the mother from the baby, which would provide an insignificant meal for the cheetahs,” Mueller explained. “However, once the calf was separated from its mother, much more occurred. The mother cheetah intended to use the opportunity to help her three cubs develop their hunting and killing instincts by enabling them to interact with the calf.”

The fight between the cubs and the baby impala became more heated by the second. Muller said the calf looked for shelter soon after it began, but it didn’t find any until the two species had been “playing” for a while.

Despite the fact that the interaction was a “emotional roller coaster” for Mueller and the others in the group, the impala was not harmed.

“The novelty of having a new member within the cheetah family, an antelope that was less than a day old, resulted in these amazing displays between inexperienced predators and innocent prey,” Mueller added. “Sometimes funny, sometimes tragic, the outcome was obvious.” Fortunately for us, the creatures vanished further into the woods for the last few moments.”

Maris Lopez
Maris Lopezhttp:////
Hey there! I'm Maris, an American girl who is passionate about adventure, the outdoors and all things travel!


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