On safari-- wildlife and nature photos



See slideshow link below  
The
Three
Boys

From the late 1990s, three male cheetahs made a name for themselves--'the three boys'-- roaming the Linyanti for nearly a decade. Their range extended from the area of Savuti bush camp in the south, across Selinda Reserve in the centre, to near Kwando Lagoon in the north, a distance of about 80 kilometres

For a species so vulnerable, their tenure was remarkable. One is believed to have died of snakebite in late June, 2005, but the two remaining 'boys' continued patrolling the same territory. Their 'brother' was sick when he was last sighted; then, a short time later, they were seen without him and appeared to be calling him, in vain. A sad end. Some of their human fans wondered if another male cheetah would be recruited to restore the coalition to three; that's what happened about 1999 when one of the original three died

The pictures on this page are from the last few years of the trio's 'career'


Togetherness at  Closeness breakfast, Selinda (2002)

But there's still a pecking order Watchful eye  and tugs o' war for the choicest bits (2002)

Brotherly grooming Contrast: brotherly love (2000), and predatory menace (2002) Predator

The pecking order came to the fore not just over kills. An unusual challenge faced the three when the flooding of the spillway blocked their path across Selinda Reserve. The dominant brother led a careful assessment of the water and then the dash to the other side. Click the image below for a slideshow of the crossing

Cautious approach
Slideshow- August, 2004

The 'brothers' were not the only cheetahs in the Selinda area. There were a couple of female residents, whose cubs were probably sired by one or more of the coalition. One mother had male and female youngsters well on the way to adulthood at the time the trio became a pair (photos 2005)

Offspring of the boys?   Cubs practising  Growing up fast

Life goes on

Looking for a meal   Not on the menu ©Yvonne Milbank  Impala instead for dinner Impala instead for dinner

The surviving 'brothers' maintained their efficiency after the loss of their sibling. In this hunt (2005), near the Selinda spillway, they brought down two impala as night fell, but left one for the hyenas. On the way, they went close to a giraffe, almost appearing to be studying it, but more likely checking something in the distance through a gap in the wild sage behind the giraffe. There was no chance they would consider tackling such a large animal

Grassland hunter   Searching  Searching  Marking territory

Nor was there any change in their long-range patrolling. A few days later, they were far to the north near Kwando Lagoon camp...hunting, scent-marking and resting, moving deliberately (yet it seemed casually) from vantage point to vantage point. Their life was marked by almost constant watchfulness

But late in 2008, it seemed that age and the ravages of the wilderness had taken their toll...only one of the brothers remained. He was seen taking an impala, then having the kill stolen by wild dogs; however much longer he lasted, the era of 'the boys' was over

Relaxed but watchful  Searching  Searching

Five years separate the first photo above (one of the brothers watchfully resting in the shade of a bush near Zibalianja in 2000) from the other two, taken in Kwando territory in 2005

Return to the main Selinda pages Spots 'n' blotches

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Where the photos were takenEquipment used at Selinda and Kwando: Canon EOS1n and EOS5, with Canon 400/2.8 and 300/2.8 lenses and extenders, 100-400 IS zoom & 100/2.8 macro lenses, Sigma 17-35/2.8-4 lens, Canon 540 EZ and 580 EX flashes; Fuji Sensia 100, Velvia (50 & 100 ISO), Provia 100F, and Agfa RSX II 200. The Maplink on the left will show you where Selinda is. Go to the links below for more photographs from Africa and from Australia


-CONTENTS-

  • Portfolio (5 pages)
  • African slideshows
  • Australian slideshow
  • Guest photographer
  • Spots 'n' blotches
  • Browsers & grazers
  • Okavango Delta
  • Walking in Zimbabwe
  • Zambia
  • The Outback (3 pages)
  • The River Murray
  • Wildlife carers
  • The Linyanti
  • Cheetah brothers
  • Selinda's birdlife
  • Masai Mara
  • Big cats
  • Faces on safari
  • The Adelaide Hills
  • Aussie birds
  • Niugini days
  • Lions of Selinda
  • Heavyweight herbivores
  • Kwando Reserve
  • Kenya:Samburu
  • Elephants
  • Kangaroo Island
  • Victoria
  • About Afrigalah
  • Links

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    © 2000-2013 Copyright photographs, graphics and text: John Milbank, except where otherwise denoted