African Photos

Cheetahs Of Lagoon
We had flown in from Kwara... It was a very warm day. Roy (Toft) was intensely interested in any Wild Dog sightings. We were told that "the dogs" hadn't been seen in a month, but today, they had returned and were just down the road from the strip. We found them, and chased them on a hunts late into the night. At dinner, our first night in Lagoon, the talk was about the doss as well as the Three Cheetah Brothers who had gained international acclaim after appearing on "Discovery.
The plan was to get up before sun rise... continued below

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Try to find a place to shoot the sun rise...

. and then chase "the dogs" again.  My roommate (Charlie) and I decided after we got settled into the lodge, that we didn't want to chase "the dogs" again. I was intensely interested in finding the Cheetah Brothers. Charlie agreed. That morning, we told Roy about our decision and he said we could do what we wanted. AT and Vundy, our tracker and our guide, had overheard our conversation and I glimpsed a large smile on AT's face. I asked him what he was smiling about, he said, "Gregory, I saw Cheetah tracks down by the airstrip when you came in." He was excited that we were going to break from the team and try to find the "Cheetah (letlotse) brothers. We headed off to the airstrip, waited for the sun rise, and then began tracking. Vundy and Charlie stayed in the truck

AT and I got out on foot and began tracking. We wound up and around through the low bush, around water holes, up over a climbing ridge.





AT was explaining to me what he was seeing, all the way ...

It was like listening to a detailed story, by time frames an directions. After about an hour and half, AT stopped  me by putting his hand on my shoulder. We were ontop of a ridge, next to a waterhole. The ridge overlooked a high grass area. AT waived at Vundy to bring the truck over. AT got in up next to Vundy, a clear sign we were close. I jumped up into the "bronco seat" in the back. AT turned and said, you see them, point about 20 yards into the deep the bush. There they were, lying in the tall grass. We began following them, through the grass up onto a tall termite mound. We were trying to determine if they really were all brothers. It is very, very unusual for three Cheetahs to form a coalition and live and hunt together. Cheetahs are tall, rangy, narrow, with large chests, and extremely long legs. Their heads almost seem small for their bodies. They speak in high pitch barks and yelps. They have amazing vision, nearly eight to ten times better than humans. They do not have night vision, but many believe they see in exacting colors, more colors than humans.  We followed and chased them on a hunt after a Wart Hog. Cheetah's do not run, they burst. When attacking, or stalking, they line up single file with the largest Cat in the front. They other two are in single file behind him. When they break, they burst first in short struts then in leaps. The two Cats that follow flank the charge of the center Cat. Thereby, they attack with one Cat charging in a central attack and the other two attacking from the flank. 

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