Don’t mess with this Mama Cheetah

In October a rare and incredible wildlife encounter was captured by Saruni Mara head guide Saruni Kisimei whilst out with guests in the Lemek Conservancy, home to Saruni Wild in the Masai Mara.

A brave and fearless Mama cheetah, “Kisaru” chased off a huge male lion in a bid to protect her remaining two cubs. Having already lost some of her litter to hyena, Kisaru didn’t waste any time in sending this marauding lion on its way. Luckily for them, the lion headed off without further incident.

Image by Saruni Kisimei

Image by Saruni Kisimei

A male lion can weigh up to over 500 pounds (+226 kg), whereas an adult female cheetah only weighs between 75 – 140 pounds (35 to 65kg)…roughly less than a quarter of the weight! Cheetahs being the fastest land mammal, with speeds up to 93 kph, can easily outrun a lion but only over a short distance or they overheat! It is very rare it to see the reverse, as in the case of this Mama cheetah bravely protecting her cubs and giving chase to this lion.

Image by Saruni Kisimei

It’s not just us that found this fascinating, an eagle-eyed follower on social media alerted two of the UK’s daily newspapers and they both ran with the story!

Read the Daily Mail coverage HERE

Read the Daily Star coverage HERE

Female cheetahs are solitary creatures and raise their cubs alone, hiding them in small thickets or in the long grass, when they must hunt. Without the protection of a ‘pride’ or a ‘pack’, cheetah cubs have a high mortality rate, approximately 90 percent, and it is estimated that 50 to 75 percent of cheetah cubs die before they reach three months of age, usually as a result of other large predators such as lions and hyenas.

Image by Saruni Kisimei

Conservancies, such as Lemak, are vital in ensuring the protection of not just cheetahs but all wildlife that roam free across this beautiful land. Tourism directly supports conservation through daily fees – by visiting Saruni, you are directly giving back to the community who protect this area, improving their quality of life, whilst at the same time encouraging the purpose for conservation.