On August 17th 2017 in the Masai Mara in Kenya we had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to watch a group of 5 male chee­tahs hunt­ing. It was impres­sive to see how they coor­di­nat­ed their hunt and what incred­i­ble speed they reached.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly it was already very dark at the time of the hunt, so the fol­low­ing shots could only be tak­en with high ISO val­ues. More­over, the pro­tag­o­nists moved away from us very quick­ly, so that I had to crop most of the shots sig­nif­i­cant­ly. Nev­er­the­less, I will show the pic­tures here, because such a hunt is only rarely observable.

We were able to observe two hunt­ing runs direct­ly one after the oth­er. On the first attempt, the wilde­beest was final­ly lucky and got away.

At first the chee­tahs spread out:

Fünf Geparden auf der Jagd
The “Fast Five” on the look­out for prey
Die Geparden verteilen sich

A vul­ture had already noticed what was coming:

Der Geier ahnt bereits etwas
That vul­ture knows something…

The first chee­tah sneaked up on a group of wildebeests:

Gepard schleicht sich an
Still undis­cov­ered

When the wilde­beests dis­cov­ered him, the hunt began:

Und los geht es

A younger wilde­beest was cho­sen and chased:

Junges Gnu erwischt
und wieder entwischt...
Gnu ist entkommen
The wilde­beest escaped at first
Neuer Versuch
A new attempt
Hat wieder nicht geklappt, Verstärkung kommt...
It did­n’t work again. The rein­force­ments are coming…
Erneuter Zugriff
New approach
Weiter auf der Jagd
Con­tin­u­ing the hunt

Final­ly, the chee­tahs suc­ceed­ed in cap­tur­ing and sur­round­ing the wildebeest:

Gnu ist umstellt
Wilde­beest sur­round­ed… is it all over now?
Was nun?
Gnu von Geparden umzingelt
and now?
Gnu weiterhin umzingelt
Wilde­beest still surrounded

Amaz­ing­ly, the wilde­beest man­aged to escape after all:

Es gelingt dem Gnu doch noch zu entkommen
The wilde­beest man­ages to escape after all

Final­ly, the wilde­beest even turned the tables and now hunt­ed a sin­gle cheetah:

Jetzt wird der Spieß umgedreht
Now the tables are turned
Gnu jagd Gepard
Wilde­beest chas­ing cheetah
Gepard auf der Flucht
The flee­ing cheetah
Gepard von einem Gnu gejagt
Chee­tah chased by a wildebeest

Some­what frus­trat­ed and out of breath the chee­tahs gath­ered up again afterwards:

Geparden nach erfolgloser Jagd suchen neue Beute
Chee­tahs look­ing for new prey after unsuc­cess­ful hunt

A new vic­tim was cho­sen. After the pre­vi­ous defeat, the 5 chose this time a younger and small­er one, this one should not be as lucky as the first one:

Chee­tah Hunt #2
Chee­tah hunt­ing in the Masai Mara, Kenya
Geparden jagen junges Gnu
Gepard erreicht junges Gnu
Chee­tah catch­es up with young wildebeest
Verstärkung ist unterwegs
The rein­force­ment comes
Gepardenjagd - Zwei gegen einen
Chee­tah hunt­ing - Two against one
Das Gnu wird überwältigt

The small wilde­beest was final­ly over­whelmed and killed by a bite in the throat. We all were very sor­ry after­wards, but that’s the way of nature.

Hunt­ing success
Ohne Worte
With­out words