Daughters of Kakenya – Naserian and Naretoi in the Mara Triangle

Last two months have been marked by good news – two daughters of Kakenya, born in 2014, came back to the Mara Triangle – one with three small cubs and another one pregnant! Mara Conservancy rangers who are carefully monitoring these young cheetahs, named them Naserian – which means “Peaceful and Social”, and Naretoi – meaning “One who Helps” in Maa. Naserian came over most likely looking for the safe place to give birth, while Naretoi is introducing the Mara to her offspring. Both females spent significant time in the Mara Triangle with their mother Kakenya – one of the most successful cheetahs in the Mara – in 2016, she raised 4 cubs out of 5. Naretoi is covering large distances within several hours, hunting almost every day. The size of the cubs and the rate of growth depend on the level of nutrition in the first months of life, so the more often the cubs eat, the larger and stronger they will be. For a pregnant cheetah, it is not easy to catch a large prey, and many different factors may affect hunting success. Sometimes, zebras harass cheetahs. Recently, we observed Naserian. Being not sure about intentions of approaching animals, she had to make sure she would not be disturbed. She huddled to the ground watching a group and relaxed only when all zebras passed by.