Cheetahs’ encounters

Last week was rich in encounters of the Great Mara Five male cheetah coalition (also called Musketeers) with different cheetahs. After Mugi had left, the group met Rani. Earlier in October, she was mating with two males in the Mara Triangle, but unsuccessfully due to a high competition between brothers. Today, the group encountered Nora, who had mated a few months ago and recently lost her cubs. The key to successful mating is avoiding a competition. In some Mara male coalitions, brothers split for the time of courtship, so that only one gets a chance to mate, or males take turns with the same female. In case of a big coalition, chances to escape with a female are low. However, today one male used his chance when other members went for hunting. They all noticed that their partner was mounting a female from far distant and rushed to participate. Unfortunately, soon after copulation a lioness appeared in the field, attracted by loud cheetahs’ vocalizations, and dispersed them. Thereby, males lost visual contact with Nora and have been searching for her until darkness loudly calling.