Interspecific territorial competition with successful and stronger predators forces cheetahs in a coalition to employ different survival strategies. For example, do not hunt if a lion, leopard or hyena is spotted at a distance, kill two antelopes at the same time so that if one prey is taken away by kleptoparasites, the other will be eaten by the hunters. Or share a meal with a hyena, saving energy for the fight, in which in any case the hyena will emerge victorious. Having noticed resting adult cheetahs, hyenas approach to check if there is anything to profit from, and usually leave for good after a while. However, some individuals attack adult cheetahs, driving them away from their resting place. A hyena’s display of aggressive behavior ends in the hyena’s victory, increasing its self-confidence. Although such phenomena are rarely observed, such events occur frequently in nature. A year ago in the evening, we watched two hyenas persistently chase Nashipai, and on March 16, a hyena chased two males – Winda and Olonyok. With age, cheetahs’ hearing weakens. Perhaps the January injury to one ear (despite treatment) could also be the reason why Olonyok did not hear the approach of the hyena and the preemptive hiss of his coalition-mate in time.

In search of salvation, some cheetahs climb trees and spend hours there, not deciding to come down even when the hyenas have left the place. This was the case with the female Miale, who was fleeing from a group of hyenas, and Kisaru’s son, Lekisaru, who waited out the night after the death of his mother, sitting high in a tree. And it appears that Olonyok didn’t just climb the tree on March 16 to mark or inspect the area. He looked anxious, and only came down at 18:15 to join Winda, with whom he finished the fawn of Thomson gazelle. When the hyena reappeared on the spot, the cheetahs had already finished eating and were resting nearby. Having finished eating the rest, the hyena drove the cheetahs away from the resting place and immediately after that left, thus showing its superiority. These two males from the Tano Bora coalition are now 9.5 years old, and every day they find it more difficult to survive. Living as a couple helps them share vigilance and food. Considering that the average lifespan of male cheetahs is about 3 years, Winda and Olonyok are doing well.