RANI and HER OFFSPRING

06/11/2020

Not all cheetah females are equally successful, initially they learn from their mothers, and the more experienced the female mother, the more successful her offspring will be. Rani, born at the end of 2008 from the famous female Shakira, in 12 years of her life raised only one litter – in 2015: one male and two females – Nashipai and Neema. Usually female mothers leave their young adolescents around the age of 16 months. The Rani’s family was an exception – the cubs themselves left the mother at the age of 18 months. Young males move far from the mother’s home range, while females establish the territory within the maternal area with significant overlap of their territories. Rani’s son disappeared quite quickly – it is more difficult for singletons to survive in the presence of male coalitions, and they become nomadic. Young females founded their territories away from each other: we often meet Nashipai in the reserve, where she is sometimes located a kilometer from her mother Rani. At the same time, her sister Neema is firmly settled in the northern part of the Mara, in more than 36 kilometers from her sister. To date, none of the 5-year-old females raised a single cub, although each was repeatedly pregnant. Rani raised her first and so far, the only litter at the age of 7 years, perhaps her daughters will repeat her path.

       



SOPA BOYS – OLANYUANI and OLARETONI

05/31/2020

Since 2011 to date, we have observed four cheetah male coalitions (of two males each) in Sopa, successively replacing one another. At the beginning of 2017, a coalition of five males (Tano Bora) also briefly used that area. The current pair of males called Sopa Boys, named Olanyuani (Hardworking in Maa) and Olaretoni (The one who is willing to help) started using that area since April 2019. They spent significant time in the neighboring Serengeti and occasionally visit Keekorok area, where their home area overlaps with Tano Bora’s territory. Recently, we found Olanyuani and Olaretoni in Sopa patrolling the area, successfully hunting and eating an Impala and marking different objects before disappearing into the Serengeti until the next visit.

                         



TANO BORA MALES MEET FEMALES

05/18/2020

Cheetahs are induced ovulators, that is, in order for a female to come into oestrus, she needs external stimuli. Meeting with males is one such incentive. Over the past 10 days, the Tano Bora male coalition met Nora several times, but only three males initially lingered in hope of mating – Olpadan, Leboo and Olarishani (who had previously mated with her). However, the more often they intersected, the less interest this female aroused in males. For example, the day before yesterday, they all ignored her when spotted in 50 meters. The males were more interested in gazelles. Interestingly, a few days ago, in close proximity to each other, there were 3 different females – Nora, Miale and Nashipai. When the two males left Nora, they met with Nashipai, who was also not ready for mating. After following her for some time, Olarishani eventually left her and went in search for his coalition-mates.

                     



Video: Leboo and Olarishani came across Nashipai

05/18/2020

Recently, two out of five Tano Bora males – Leboo and Olarishani came across Nashipai. When she escaped in the bush near the main road, Leboo left her, while Olarishani decided to wait for some time. In half an hour, Olarishani also lost interest in the female and followed his coalition-mate.



RAISI RAISED HER FIRST LITTER

05/08/2020

Six-year-old Raisi (Easy in Kiswahili) – daughter of Rosa, granddaughter of Resy and younger sister of Rosetta, successfully raised her first litter to independence. She gave birth to five cubs in Olderkesi conservancy, and spent significant time with her offspring in that area, in the neighboring Serengeti, and occasionally in Sopa-Sand river areas. The last time we observed Raisi with her three cubs in November 2019 near Cottar’s 1920’s camp, close to the Tanzanian border. Three adolescents appeared in Olarro conservancy in the beginning of April, when they were approximately 17 months. Today, they came into the Reserve and we observed them in 5 km from the coalition of 5 males – Tano Bora. Three young healthy males in a coalition has become great addition to the Mara cheetah population.