In the Trees

During my several of us drove into the research area, while the rest of the group enjoyed a wonderful early morning balloon ride.  We spotted a pair of male Cheetahs in the distance and started tracking them.  Before we knew it, they were heading straight for us.  To my amazement, one of the males was up a nearby tree in nothing flat, but not without a bit of a struggle.  Built for speed, the Cheetahs don’t have the shoulder climbing muscles or sharp retractable claws that the other cats have, making climbing a bit of a challenge.  While you won’t find them very high up in trees, you occasionally find them making use of lower trees for improved viability.  Somewhat uncomfortable in trees, they will not stay there for long.  In this case, we are able to maneuver the truck around to get a head on shot of him in the tree.

Nikon D3x, 200-400mm f/4.0 @ 310mm, ISO 250, 1/640 sec at f/6.3  This image was taken here.

After the Cheetah struggled with maintaining his balance in the tree,  down to the ground he came and rewarded us with a quick game of peek-a-boo before he was off with this brother for their daily hunt.

Nikon D3x, 200-400mm f/4.0 @ 400mm, ISO 250, 1/250 sec at f/5.0

Cheers and happy photo’ing