A friend invited us to go camping along the Vaalriver (2nd largest river in SA) the weekend. I was really glad to get out, and the opportunity to get some Kingfishers could not be passed over. So camping gear packed I went to this venue, expecting nothing else but birds and a nice weekend out.
You can imagine my surprise when I was invited to go inside the enclosure while the owner fed six little Cheetah cubs. At first they were scared of the new figure and smell in the enclosure. But their hunger got the better of them and they got closer. I was flabbergasted and for quite a while just watched them playing, eating and running around closer than two meters from me.
When I made a sudden move they would react in a threatening stance similar to the one you see in the photo. While I was sitting watching and taking photos on little critter crept up on me and I only got aware of it when it started licking my leg.
A Cheetah cub licking my leg.... :) I am still smiling and I think it won't wear off for at least a month or so.
After watching the little ones I went with the owner to feed the adult cats. I sat crouched one meter away from an adult Cheetah without any fences between us while it fed. The Adult Cheetah was within the minimum focal distance of the lens and I did not want to risk moving to get a proper shot. Even though the Adults are quite dangerous I had the unbearable urge to pat and stroke the beautiful creature.
All I can wish for that each and every one of you get the chance to experience such a moment, itís what we live for!
Unfortunately the all the cubs had different colored ribbons around their necks for ID purposes. Imagine giving medicine to one that has five twins, without making use of the ribbons.