Maternal courage

Maternal courage

It was around mid-morning at Kwang and about 100 metres north of the waterhole: summer, sunny and warm. A cheetah female and three cubs were keeping an eye on a small herd of female wildebeest with calves heading for the waterhole. The female began stalking and the cubs stayed hidden behind some logs. The wildebeest got wind of the stalking cheetah and as they turned and started running, the hunter broke cover and pursued. She singled out a calf and managed to gain on it. She caught up and took it down in a cloud of dust, going for the jugular and holding on to subdue her prey. In the dust and confusion, the wildebeest mother stopped and turned back to find her calf. She charged at the predator, making it release the victim and jump out of her way. She followed through with the charge and swept her horns towards where she thought the predator was. Instead, she hooked her calf and flung it through the air. Fortunately it managed to get up and follow its mother away from danger.

Photo story: Jaco Powell

This photo story features in the book Kgalagadi Self-Drive – Routes, Roads and Ratings
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