You may remember the three adorable cheetah cubs I photographed when I was in Kenya last July. These two photos below were taken when their mum Amani first brought them out into the world.
Well, I can't tell you how happy and relieved I was on this recent trip to come across Amani again... with all three cubs still very much alive, gorgeous and mischievous!
These latest pics show how much they've now grown up at about 10 months old and learning to hunt - but they're still far too excitable, so stealth is not their strong point yet, and mostly they're just spooking the prey and getting in mum's way - it's been hilarious to watch!
They will stay dependent on their mum until they're about two years old, and it's testament to what a wonderful mum Amani is that all of them have come this far. They're never out of danger and she is vigilant 100% of the time for lions, hyena and leopard, any of which will kill them given a chance. Or they will take her kills for themselves, and she already has to hunt constantly to feed all 4 of them - especially exhausting when the kids get in the way half the time!
Finally this last picture shows another female heavily pregnant...so I'm hoping that when I return in October she will show me the next generation of Maasai Mara cheetahs too!