Fast Five

A large group requires more food, and cheetahs being opportunistic hunters, use any opportunity to hunt when the prey is available and no other predators are in close vicinity. In the Fast 5 cheetah coalition, three males are the most initiative, and sometimes simultaneously start chasing different antelopes in all possible directions. Making two kills at a time is on the surviving strategies – if kleptoparasites take one kill, the other one serves as a meal for all members of a cheetah group. Also, if only one male succeeded, everyone in a coalition benefits.

Naretoi and her Sons

Naretoi, daughter of Kakenya, was born in 2014 and grew up together with her two sisters and the brother in the Mara Triangle and adjacent areas of the Serengeti National Park, where they spent significant time. Kakenya dedicated 19 months to her four cubs, passing her knowledge of successful hunting and ways of identifying and avoiding dangers. After Kakenya had left her cubs, littermates started exploring the Mara-Serengeti Ecosystem, at first as a sibling group, and in a few months, singly. Since late 2016, Kakenya’s son and one of his sisters, disappeared from the Mara, and most probably established themselves in Tanzania, while two sisters keep coming to the Mara Triangle. Moreover, both sisters, named Naretoi and Naserian, came to the Mara Triangle last year to give birth. For some time, both females have been seen with their litters close to each other. Last year, while traveling in Tanzania, Naretoi lost one cub, and since then, has two sons. They are about 9 months old and at this age, both strongly rely onto their mother, trying to keep visual contact with her and to follow each other.

Cheetah inbreeding in the Mara

There was no evidence of inbreeding of cheetahs in the Mara Ecosystem until now, when a few days ago, Empaps M Sayialel at Olare Motorogi Conservancy documented mating of two cubs of Amani from the different litters – a male Hodari (born in 2012) was mounting a female Kisaru (born in 2016). Female cheetahs are promiscuous and can mate with several males during one cycle of estrus, so that cubs in one litter might have different fathers. This gives opportunity to different males to spread their genes and higher chances for females to conceive. If there were other males in the area, Kisaru might have mated also with another partner and give birth to healthy cubs.

Let’s find Malaika

Dear friends, let’s try to find Malaika together! Here we post Malaika’s profiles, so you can check your photos and compare highlighted areas on the photos of Malaika with spot patterns on a cheetah you encountered. If you’d like us to identify cheetahs for you, please send us your recent photos and we will gladly tell you which cheetah you saw. Please note that the best pictures for identification are full body profiles, where spots on the front and back limbs are seen. For the proper identification, resolution shall be not less than 1Mb. You can send us your photos via e-mail to the Project address: or via Whatsapp to the Project number: +254 704 361069 MMCP team

Malaika – some facts

Malaika was born in the end of 2007 from the female Serena, who died in 2012. Until late 2015, she was roaming only within the Maasai-Mara National Reserve – from Hammerkop area to Lookout and across Talek river through Olkiombo area to Rhino ridge. However, later she started exploring adjacent Olare Orok conservancy. To date, she had 8 litters, out of which she raised five cubs to independence: a male Bawa (Wing) born in 2012, a male Malik (King) and female Malkia (Queen) both born on 2014 and 2 males Dogo and Kigumba, born in 2016.
On 24 February 2018, Malaika met with the Fast Five, who kept her for 24 hours. Her 20-months old sons were also around watching behavior of the 5 males and following them every time when the group was pursuing a female. As Malaika was not in estrus, no mating occurred. However, cheetahs are induced ovulators, and meeting with excited males could have induced estrus. On 1 March, Malaika displayed typical behavior of a cheetah in heat – she was intensively rolling over and marking objects, and one of her sons was expecting her marks with interest. At that time, she did not let cubs approach close to her. In order to avoid inbreeding, females in estrus leave their offspring, and Malaika did it before. Most likely she left cubs to look for a mate. Malaka’s sons are adult enough to take care of themselves. However, they were not ready to be left by the mother because of various benefits which living in a group provides to cheetahs.