One topi, three cheetah, and a leopard

Fairly near the cheetah mother and cubs that I showed you before, there were three other young three-year old cheetah siblings (one male, two female) that had been thrown out by their mother a month ago, and were learning to manage on their own. My guide somehow found them asleep under a tree one morning (don’t worry, I couldn’t see them either):

Two were asleep

and one was on watch:

The previous evening they had been seen hunting and killing a young topi. Topi adults are good-sized antelope, 90-150Kg, much too big for the cheetah to tackle. Rather charmingly, the males are prone to standing with their forefeet on termite mounds to improve the view:

The males at this time of year are fighting for territory for their harem of females:

But there are also youngsters around, and the cheetah got one, near some woods. Big mistake. Out of the woods came a 70Kg leopard, much bigger than the 40Kg cheetah, and stole the topi.

I saw none of this, but it was the talk of the camp that evening. So next morning we went looking, and there, up in a tree in distinctively leopard style, was the ex-topi.

The leopard was nowhere to be seen, probably sleeping nearby on the ground. So we came back at 4pm, and there he was, sleeping on a branch just below the carcase.

He woke up, and decided dinner was in order:

He was hungry:

So he climbed up and claimed his meal:

Holding it in a deathly embrace:

He ate:

And after feeding for an hour or so, he gracefully descended to the ground to sleep off his full belly:

4 thoughts on “One topi, three cheetah, and a leopard”

  1. Wow! I really enjoy your postings, but this one ‘hits the top’. Thanks so much. Please keep it up.


  2. Enjoying all your photos and excellent commentary, Moira. From your 2020 Baja whalewatch fellow traveler.


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