NEW CHEETAHS IN THE MARA

05/05/2023

The absence of fences allows animals to move freely through the Mara Serengeti ecosystem. Therefore, every few months we observe new cheetahs in the Mara: sometimes adults, but more often adolescents, who have reached the age of independence and have begun to explore new areas. Cheetahs, born and raised outside of the Mara, are extremely shy and vigilant. That’s what young littermates Olpadan and Siligi were when we first met them at the border with the Serengeti in the mid-2016. Both subsequently became famous: Olpadan as a leader of the largest known male collation, and Siligi as the mother of the litter of 7 cubs. Our long-term observations have shown that in order to be successful in the Mara, cheetahs must become tolerant of the presence of vehicles. Skittish cheetahs are less likely to relax, successfully hunt, breed and raise offspring than cheetahs accustomed to the presence of cars. Certainly, subject to the recommended distance and silence by tourists. Conservancies play a vital role in maintaining the natural balance and biodiversity in the Mara ecosystem. In addition, they provide cheetahs with the opportunity to adapt to tourism. An extremely important event for the Mara was the appearance in March 2023 of a coalition of 3 young males in the newly formed Mara Ripoi conservancy. Males are still rather shy, but eventually relax in the presence of a car, demonstrating playful behavior or completely relaxing. There are reasons to believe that this new group, in addition to being a wonderful sight for the guests, will become a valuable addition to the gene pool of the Mara cheetah population.