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Cheetahs playing

Cheetahs playing

I was on a game drive in the Mara Conservancy, just outside the Maasai Mara National Park, when I first spotted this mother cheetah and her cub. They were in an area with little game and the cub was happy to just play. Mom had food on her mind. Within a few minutes of our Land Rover stopping out in the distant tall grass, mom led her cub straight to the hood of our vehicle. I knew at that moment that this beautiful cheetah was related to Queen & Kike of the Big Cat Diary series. I have had the pleasure of both of those cats company over the years so this was an exciting treat.
I felt like I had found a family friend. This royal line of Cheetah heritage employs a unique style of hunting. They use the vehicle hood as their vantage point to hunt and stand higher than they can from a termite mound.
I followed this cheetah family as much as possible, for the next week . They played and hunted on and around my Land Rover daily. The cub, the last of a litter of 3, has an injured eye. Mom did not let that disability stop her from playing rough. The cubs personality and exuberance never waned and sometimes, like in this image, their moments together were funny.
The hardest part of this shot was focus! The cheetahs where always on the move and I was trying to hold my Canon camera steady on a beanbag resting on a window edge!