Wednesday, February 28, 2001

Masai Mara, Kenya III

The cheetah hunts have an ad hoc quality to them, not the polished strategy I might have expected. The three that I’ve been watching for days will wander off, sometimes stalking, sometimes strolling, at this or that group of gazelle. If the gazelle see something suspicious, they’ll usually walk closer for a better look, before bolting in mortal terror.

Just before dawn, two young cheetah chased a large herd south, and mom cut across to drop the last of the gazelle. One animals lies with its mouth open, gaping in surprise and terror, another’s jaws clamp down hard. Life drains away.

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