Rosetta Inspires Cubs for Independent Hunting


At the age of one year, cheetah cubs are able to hunt small game on their own, but when hunting adult ungulates they still depend on their mother. If a female leaves a one-year-old cub, he survives by hunting hares or fawns. Small prey is not enough to saturate all family members, and often only the hunter gets all the food. Therefore, after the meal is over, the mother usually makes large kill. Thus, she not only feeds the whole family, but also applies “positive reinforcement” to encourage the independence of her offspring. Cheetah cubs learn about adequate prey species and sizes by watching their mothers hunting and by personal experience. Chasing an adult warthog can lead to injury or even cost the cub life. In such cases, the mother has to protect a cub, distracting warthogs. Recently, Rosetta had to assist her cubs after her daughter had caught a warthog piglet and the pursued switched places with the chaser.


TWO NEW MALES – Let’s Name Them!


2019 brought pleasant surprises – three new coalitions of males appeared in the reserve, two of them consist of two and one of three males. One new coalition of two males was observed in the Mara Triangle from mid-June 2017 to mid-July. Having disappeared for a short while, the males showed up in the Reserve, and since then began to master various parts of it. Since December 2019, they are often seen in the Basecamp – Tipilikwani area and are often confused with Sopa Boys. To avoid mistakes, let’s name them! We suggest that you come up with names with a positive meaning in the languages of Swahili or Maa.


Selenkei today


This afternoon, Selenkei was spotted with the only cub in the area where they were yesterday. Both spent several hours opposite the bush where, most probably, the cub was lost. Both were calling intensively. It is not yet known what happeed to the missing cub.


Selenkei with a new litter


By taking cubs around vast areas, females provide them with opportunity to learn different types of habitat, to experience encounters with prey, food competitors, humans and predators, so that in the future they will decide where o establish their territories. All females who have been taken by their mothers to the Maasai Mara National Reserve later on also bring their own cubs here. Selenkei – daughter of Imani, granddaughter of Amani and great granddaughter of Saba, have been raised in the conservancies adjacent to the Reserve, but her mother Imani visited different parts of the Reserve with her offspring. Recently, Selenkei showed up in the reserve with her two 4.5 months old cubs. By watching their mother, cubs learn survival strategies. Within a few last days, the family had unpleasant encounters with various inhabitants of the Mara plains, including jackals, vultures and hyenas. Yesterday, while feeding on a Thompson gazelle, Selenkei spotted a troop of baboons in a few hundred meters. She stopped eating and watched primates until they left from the sight, while cubs were still eating. If she had lost a kill to the baboons, then she would hunt again, if she was not full. When the family almost finished the meal, a hyena appeared on the scene. The vultures immediately began to approach the carcass, and Selenkei grabbed the carcass and continued to eat and watch the hyena. By that, female is not only trying to consume more food, but also drawing attention away of the predator to the carcass and drawing away from her offspring.