Impala Chased by Cheetah
I have 'stitched' together 4 images that I took a few years ago of a female cheetah (lower left) hunting an impala fawn. I put 4 images together better to depict what I actually witnessed and photographed with a 'still' camera. The green markers at the bottom approximate the original images (after cropping)]. It was not feasible, with a still-camera, to reproduce well such a fast-moving action sequence, occuring over a large area. The whole episode lasted only about 2-3 mins. The cheetah picks her target from a distance of perhaps 300 feet. She will pursue only that animal, even passing up those standing close-by her path where, it would seem, a sharp turn would produce a certain capture. But no, she can capture only by chasing & tripping, and then grabing and crushing the throat of the fallen animal! Remember, she has no retracting (prehensile) claws, like the leopard or lion, for grasping an animal. 1st segment: she selects her prey; 2nd segment: she pursues Impala fawn; 3rd Segment: she has almost caught up with the fawn; 4th Segment: Fawn is caught and killed. Note the mother impala, at far right background, watching [Masai Mara, Kenya].