With our agenda for a cool and foggy morning set on tracking a cheetah familythat hadn’t eaten for four weeks, we already knew that what we were about to see was a sight that we would never forget, and to our great luck, our expectations didn’t let us down.
Eager for a kill that could satiate their growing hunger, the cheetahs were constantly on a lookout for any opportunity that might present itself. Much to their luck, they spotted a herd of Gazelles grazingamidst the Savanna. Not missing a beat, the eldest cheetah, a mother of three cubs, quickly sprung to action.
Cheetahs, accustomed and adapted to hunt the most in the savannas, get into close proximity of their prey by using the dry grass as an excellent camouflage against their skin, and when they are within striking distance, complete their kill with utmost perfection. The present conditions, thus, were ideal for the family. But that was not all. It was as though Mother Nature had decided to be even more benevolent to the pack, as the fog that covered the land provided an extra layer of coverage for the preying cheetah.
While the group speculated which of the Gazelles would be chosen as a victim in order to get a vantage point to closely observe what would happen next, our eyes fell upon a gazelle that was calving. This particular gazelle, about to be bestowed with the gift of motherhood, would have been the perfect target for the kill as she would in no way be able to fend herself or escape, if she was to be chased. The gazelles, oblivious to the impending loom of danger, continued to graze. If only they knew about the danger that was lurking in the sidelines, coming closer to kill with every passing second!
The gazelle that was going into labour already had her maternal instincts at the peak—she was visibly anxious and was on the lookout for any sort of danger or threat. However, even she miscalculated how close the threat actually was, and in spite of her apprehensive state, she couldn’t delay the fact that her offspring was about to be born any minute.
Somehow, the gazelles miraculously learned about the presence of the cheetah just moments after the calf was born, and much to their advantage they weren’t late at reacting, as each and every one of the gazelle was suddenly alert—prioritizing the safety of the new mother and her calf. The mother, then, quickly worked on her instincts and ducked to the ground to protect her calf from being spotted by the predators. While the duo laid low until the threat was proven real, the rest of the herd grew increasingly conscious of every move in their line of vision.
However, a slip up on the part of the cheetah owing to the bare land ended up in her revealing herself, and at the first sight of the predator, the gazelles made a run for their lives. While all the gazelles ran away in a flurry, the new mother tucked her calf amidst the grass and ran towards the rest of the herd. She did this only to take the cheetah’s attention away from the calf and thereby remove it from the situation of threat.
As part of a survival technique in such cases of danger, the calves are biologically pre programmed to stay hidden and quiet until their mother returns. The cheetah on the other hand, obviously deceived by the gazelles, ran in their direction, missing the calf that was hiding and leaving it unharmed. After the cheetahs finally went away, the mother came back to the spot where she had left her calf, and reunited with it, allowing her to enjoy the new gift of life.