A Rare Sighting of Cheetah Siblings in the Wild


Jun 22 2016

 
These cheetahs, a brother and sister (male left and female right) were spotted in a rare sighting on the S28 and H4-2 south junction near Crocodile Bridge on the 12th of June. Jean Graham, of Discover Kruger Safaris explains, “This cheetah pair will not be sighted together for too much longer, because soon they will separate. This is mainly due to female cheetahs being more solitary when mature”. To experience similar rare sightings in the Kruger Park and other game reserves contact Latest Sightings Vacations for a consultation and to book your wildlife safari. 
 
 
For approximately 18 months the mom will raise her cubs and teach them their hunting and survival skills. Jean says, “The mom gradually spends more and more time away from them, until that moment that they are completely separated”. Cheetahs have a peculiar social structure because as mentioned the female cheetahs are more solitary and male cheetahs social. Once the mom has separated herself it is however not unusual for male siblings to form a coalition into maturity (with up to 4 or 5 per group). The reason is to improve their chance of survival by hunting as a team, as well as enabling them to better defend their territory. 
 
 
The female cheetah is not a territorial predator and can roam over a vast home range. Therefore female cheetahs raise their cubs on their own, and for about 6 weeks after the birth she keeps them well hidden while she hunts. The cubs suckle for 2 to 3 months but can start eating meat as early as 3/4 weeks. By 4 months the cub is a tawny yellow and almost completely spotted. After the mother has left the cubs, brother and sister siblings tend to stay together for a further 6 months before they also separate.
 
 
Jean goes on to explain how the cheetahs’ social structure differs from other cats in the wild, 'The male and female leopard are both solitary and are nighttime hunters. Lions are very sociable and also night time hunters. Cheetahs need to avoid the bigger cats and so will hunt during the day. They are not as strong as lions and leopards so unable to defend their kills against them.”

 

 

 

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