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.