First Lesson, How to catch the prey! Mother Cheetah teaches her cubs hunting.


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Pitching a gangly-legged gazelle against the fastest land animal on the planet hardly seems like a fair fight.

But despite their lightning speed and physical prowess it is the cheetah not the gazelle that is endangered. And so if the species is to survive it is vital for young predators to master the art of hunting.

These stunning images capture the moment a trio of cheetah cubs chase down a juvenile Thomson’s gazelle in a display of the raw survival skills required in the natural world.

Hunting practice: These stunning images capture the moment a trio of cheetah cubs chase down a juvenile Thomson’s gazelle in a display of the raw survival skills.

The sacrifice of the gazelle is crucial to ensure the survival of the at risk cheetah species. The stunning images were captured by Exodus tour guide and wildlife photographer Paul Goldstein.

He said: ‘Currently there are four mums with cubs I have been working with. It is cold in the morning at this time of year so they are often difficult to find. But once they liven up they can be very entertaining subjects.

The cubs range from eight weeks to six months. A particular highlight, although brutal, was the one mother teaching her very young charges basic hunting skills. By giving them the present of a young gazelle fawn she had just downed.

It is often hard to watch, but cheetahs are desperately endangered. Whereas Thomson’s gazelles are not – the day we run short of those fleet-footed antelope. We really have screwed up the planet.’

Closing in: The gazelle had previously been caught by the mother of the young animals, but instead of killing the animal herself. She released it to give her cubs, which range from eight weeks to six months, some valuable hunting practise
Attack: Seemingly a hugely one-sided fight, the sacrifice of the gazelle, whose numbers are flourishing on the African plains, is vital to ensure the survival of the at risk cheetah species
Three against one: The stunning images were captured by Exodus tour guide and wildlife photographer Paul Goldstein. Who said that while the scene was brutal it captured nature at its most raw
On the hunt: Cheetahs kill their prey by tripping it during the chase, then biting it on the underside of the throat to suffocate it. The predator proceeds to devour its catch as quickly as possible before the kill is taken by stronger predators.
Speed demons: The cheetah is the world’s fastest land animal, reaching speeds of up to 70mph. They are easily capable of outrunning any other animal over short distances thanks to an ability to accelerate from 0 to over 62mph in three seconds

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