Incredible Cheetah Chasing Thomson Gazelle Interaction


Sep 8 2016
A safari group led by Andrew of Kilimanjaro Tanzanite Safaris arrived at Seronera, in central Serengeti National Park at approximately 2 in the afternoon. Immediately they spotted Thomson gazelles lapping water from a small drinking hole in the scorching heat of the day. All relaxed, they enjoyed the scene. And what they did not expect next, was the cheetah which startingly emerged from a kopje. The Thomson gazelles snorted, and abruptly scattered in all directions! The cheetah however managed to zoom in on one, and took chase. The two took off on a sprint... 
 
 
This was a nail biting scene for the safari group with two incredibly fast animals! Thomson gazelles are known to reach speeds of 80 to 96 km/h while cheetah can reach an average speed of 110 km/h. Andrew says, 'The gazelle do however have a strategy on their side which often saves them from predators. They tend to run in a zig-zag motion, and jump which completely confuses the predator.
 
 
The misfortune of the Thomson gazelle is that their habitat is open plains and grasslands. This makes them especially vulnerable to predators such as cheetah. A cheetah is a carnivore and is known to give chase to prey such as zebra, did dik and most antelopes. 'Due to its body formation, the cheetah is uniquely adapted for speed. Their tails give them balance, and their ribs which contract and relax increases their speed', says Andrew.
 
Even though cheetahs have the advantage of being the fastest land animal, they are renowned for being skittish at prey sites. This is because of their small size compared to other predators. From an early age cheetahs learn that all other predators are to be feared. And it is interesting that even in coalitions they probably will not defend their prey. 
 
 
Unfortunately the fete of this specific gazelle is unknown due to their fast take-off into the horizon. Andrew says, 'There was no way to give chase at that speed!'
 
Kilimanjaro Tanzanite Safaris organizes and offers game drives to see Africa's Big 5 wildlife species (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and black Rhino), cheetah, giraffe, zebra, birds, snakes, landscapes, the great rift valley, volcanoes, wildebeest migration and most wildlife species. Culture travel and sightseeing tours are added value to your African safari holidays in Tanzania. 
 
To also experience similar wildlife sightings download the Latest Sightings app (iPhone / iPad or Android), which offers visitors to game parks real time sighting alerts via other visitors' tings and Lodges' Sightings Boards. 
 
Photography and commentary by Andrew M, Kilimanjaro Tanzanite Safaris Ltd
 
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