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Friday, January 16, 2015

The hunter becomes the hunted: Young wildebeest turns tables on cheetah after a surprise attack by world's fastest cat 01-16

The hunter becomes the hunted: Young wildebeest turns tables on cheetah after a surprise attack by world's fastest cat


  • In Kenya's Masai Mara, a wildlife photographer snapped these amazing action shots of a female cheetah hunting

  • Malaika, as she's known, spotted a young wildebeest from her vantage point perched atop a safari vehicle

  • However, her attack didn't go as planned when the wildebeest held its ground and the tables were turned

Wildlife photographer Manoj Shah took these amazing pictures of the action of the female cheetah, known as Malaika, attempting a hunt.

The big cat had spotted the wildebeest from her cheeky vantage point, perched atop a tourist safari vehicle.

Just minutes later, she jumped off the truck and launched into her attack in Kenya's Masai Mara.

Wildlife photographer Manoj Shah took these amazing pictures of the action of the female cheetah, known as Malaika, attempting a hunt

Wildlife photographer Manoj Shah took these amazing pictures of the action of the female cheetah, known as Malaika, attempting a hunt.

From her cheeky vantage point, perched atop a safari vehicle, Malaika spotted the wildebeest in the long grass plains

From her cheeky vantage point, perched atop a safari vehicle, Malaika spotted the wildebeest in the long grass plains

Manoj said he first noticed the cheetah scanning the bush as he drove up to the site - and knew that she was about to hunt.

'Driving towards the vehicle, I noticed a female cheetah, popularly known Malaika - meaning 'angel' in the local Kiswahili language - looking intently at the line of wildebeest running across the savannah plains,' he explained.

'In places where the grass was tall and ant hills were absent, Malaika cleverly used a tourist vehicle as a vantage point.

Manoj first noticed the cheetah scanning the bush as he drove towards the site - and he knew that she was about to hunt

Manoj first noticed the cheetah scanning the bush as he drove towards the site - and he knew that she was about to hunt.

With her powerful eyesight, she spotted a young wildebeest following its mother - and immediately jumped from the vehicle in its direction

With her powerful eyesight, she spotted a young wildebeest following its mother - and immediately jumped from the vehicle in its direction.

'Thus she was able to scan vast areas of the Mara with her powerful eyesight.

'Suddenly her eyes gleamed upon noticing a wildebeest youngster closely following its mother.

'Malaika spotted her target, immediately jumped down from the vehicle and hurried through the long grass in the direction of her prey.

'She broke into a fast run when about 70 metres away from her target.' 

Malaika broke into a fast run about 70 metres from her target, confusing the wildebeest who was then separated from its mother

Malaika broke into a fast run about 70 metres from her target, confusing the wildebeest who was then separated from its mother.

Once she caught up to her target, the cheetah used its front paw (and razor sharp dew claw) to grab hold of the wildebeest

Once she caught up to her target, the cheetah used its front paw (and razor sharp dew claw) to grab hold of the wildebeest.

The young wildebeest became confused and was quickly separated from its mother. He took off, running for his life. 

'While all the big cats are specialist hunters, the cheetah has pushed specialism to an extreme,' Manoj added.

'It is sleek with its trim waist and long slender legs, its deep chest and small head - like a greyhound with a coat of a leopard.

'Catching up with her fleeing target, the cheetah slapped its front paw onto the hind of the wildebeest, grappling it with its razor sharp dew claw.'

Surprisingly, however, the wildebeest held its ground and turned the tables on the cheetah, who fell to the ground

Surprisingly, however, the wildebeest held its ground and turned the tables on the cheetah, who fell to the ground


The wildebeest youngster faced Malaika and tried to attack her with its horns, which quickly drove the cheetah back into the tall grass
'The wildebeest faced the cheetah and tried to attack her with its horns,' the photographed said.

'It charged at Malaika and drove her off, the hunter had become the hunted.'