Selenkei’s lessons

Traveling through the ecosystem, female cheetahs acquaint cubs with different habitats and teach offspring survival strategies. Cubs are learning by watching behavioral responses of their mothers to different external stimuli, e.g. approaching of different animals, including warthogs, vultures and hyena. Selenkei (daughter of Imani and granddaughter of Amani) is one of the most successful Mara females, raising a litter of four, passing the knowledge she had gained from her mother Imani. All Selenkei’s young showed obedience and waited patiently while the female hunted 300 meters away. Being strong and confident hunter, Selenkei showed miracles of dexterity, saddling the fully-grown male Impala. The family then spent 7,5 hours near the carcass, periodically feeding. When the family of warthogs arrived, both mothers – carnivore and a herbivore, taught their youngsters behavior in the presence of each other. The warthog family (a mother with two sub-adult piglets) was approaching closer and closer in a spiral, pinching grass and carefully watching predators. Cheetahs also were keeping eyes on a big-tusk warthog female. All those present were ready to react at any moment. Cheetah cubs displayed patience, reading the body language of their mother and intruders. After Warthog female had approached cheetahs at six meters, she considered that this was quite enough for a lesson, and led her piglets away. When vultures were approaching the kill, Selenkei was getting up displaying with her posture intension to protect the food. One of the cubs actively protected the meal by chasing the birds a few times. However, when a single hyena appeared on the scene, Selenkei family left the spot.