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Newsletter 100
18/10/14

Cheetah Survival


Cheetah have favourite fallen trees which they will mark territory on. This male cheetah at Londolozi marks his territory under a rising moon

Hello Friends

One of the survival methods that cheetah will use, is that they have large litters of cubs.

The survival rate of the cheetah cubs, is the lowest of all the big cats and I have personally filmed lion, leopard and spotted hyena killing cheetah cubs.


Cheetah cubs have a mantle up to the age of 3 months. This helps camouflage them in the tall grass

Therefore if a cheetah mother produces 6 cubs and she raises one to adulthood, then she has done well. (There is a case in captivity where a female cheetah gave birth to 8 cubs)


Of all the Big Cats, cheetah has the best long sight. In an experiment in the Masai Mara, a female cheetah was able to see a newly born gazelle at a distance of over 1km

In the Tiger Canyons experiment, we have discovered a second survival technique. A mother cheetah can produce her first litter of cubs at just 24 months. (According to Will van Duyn who has bred many cheetah, it is rare but it does occur).


Runde gets up high of a rock at Tiger Canyons to spot any approaching danger

Lion, leopard, jaguar and tiger will produce their first litters after 36 months.

Therefore the cheetah mother has a full 12 months start on the bigger cats. This is a big advantage.

However cheetah don't live as long as the bigger cats so the breeding time of the female cheetah is less. (Cheetah lifespan 10 - 12 yrs; lion 12 - 16 years; leopard 14 - 17 years; tiger 15 years)


The flat rudder like tail counter balances Sabi as he jumps across the river at Tiger Canyons

At Tiger Canyons, one of our female cheetah, either Mara or Shashe, has produced 3 cubs. (We have not yet identified the mother). What is more extraordinarily, is that the female cheetah was impregnated by the male cheetah Sabi, who was not yet 20 months old at the time of the mating.

With no rival predators to compete with her, the chances of her raising all 3 cubs are excellent. (Her only danger would be caracal, jackal, black eagle, fire, flood or disease)


The non-retractable claws on the female Mara, acts like the spikes of a sprinter as she moves at high speed

One tends to think of cheetah as predators of small to medium small size prey. However the cheetah at Tiger Canyons have captured steenbuck, springbuck and adult blesbuck.

At Modgaji, Will van Duyn's place (Shashe and Mara both came from there), the cheetah regularly catch adult kudu. This is no mean feat for a cat which weighs just 70 kilograms (An adult kudu female can weigh 210kg)


Shashe elevates on a termite mound as she searches for game at Tiger Canyons

One of the most interesting things about cheetah mating behaviour, is that it is rarely if ever seen.

Warren Samuels who has spent a lifetime filming in the Masai Mara, a cheetah stronghold, has never captured it on film. During my 17 years in the Masai Mara, I twice filmed 2 males competing over a females in estrus. However, I was never able to film the actual mating.


Runde walks across the dam wall at Yvette's Dam at Tiger Canyons after 80mm of rain had fallen

It seems that unlike lions, leopards and tigers who copulate many times during a period of 4 to 5 days, the copulation is believed to bring the female into ovulation, the cheetah is shy during mating, preferring to hide in thick bush or mate at night. It seems a few copulations are necessary for the male cheetah to impregnate the female and then the male moves on.

I have never ever filmed the male cheetah with the female and her cubs. If anyone has seen or photographed  cheetah father, mother and cubs together, would they let me know.  In addition, if you have ever seen or filmed wild cheetah mating, I would dearly love to see the sequence.


The tear line acts as natural dark glasses as it throws a shadow across the eyes of the diurnal cheetah

I have filmed lion, lioness and cubs, male leopard, female leopard and cubs and male tiger, tigress and cubs together in the same frame. Never cheetah!

The more I work with the big cats, the more I realize that there is nothing wrong with their hunting, their reproduction and their ability to adapt. However, all of them compete with human beings and this is a war that they will most certainly lose.

These are the numbers put out for Big Cats in the wild, but not necessarily correct: 

 
Asian lion 411 in the wild (in my opinion this is too high) 
African lion 25 000 (this is a drop from 50 000 10 years ago) 
Tigers 3 200 (in my opinion this number is closer to 1 200 and declining at the rate of one per day) 
Amur Leopard - 35 left in the wild 
African leopard unknown 
African Cheetah 7 500 (in my opinion this is high) 
Asian cheetah is almost extinct 
Jaguar 15 000

Tread lightly on the Earth
JV

Tread lightly on the Earth

info@jvbigcats.co.za
Copyright 2007 @jvbigcats  All rights reserved


Newsletters


Newsletter 144
08/05/17
Hunting versus Non Hunting

Newsletter 143
14/03/17
If it Pays, it Stays

Newsletters 142
14/02/17
Best Photographs at
Tiger Canyons

Newsletters 141
16/01/17
Lady Hunters

Newsletter 140
10/12/16
Londolozi and Love

Newsletter 139
23/11/16
Life is Not Fair

Newsletter 138
17/11/16
The Trump Card

Newsletter 137
22/10/16
Most Admired People on the Planet

Newsletters 136
13/10/16
Captive vs Wild

Newsletter 135
08/10/16
To trade  or not To Trade

Newsletter 134
08/08/16
A Defining Moment

Newsletter 133
08/07/16
I Have Lost A Friend

Newsletter 132
13/05/16
The World is Changing

Newsletter 131
08/04/16
Icon Cats

Newsletter 130
31/03/16
Sylvester the Lion

Newsletter 129
22/03/16
An Open Letter to Head United Nations

Newsletter 128
15/03/16
An Open Letter to Carte Blanche

Newsletter 127
28/11/15
Satellite Tracking

Newsletter 126
12/11/15
Lightning strikes 3 times

Newsletter 125
28/10/15
The Break Out

Newsletter 124
05/10/15
Bad Tigers

Newsletter 123
01/10/15
Tiger Boy's Journey

Newsletter 122
13/09/15
Give it a Name

Newsletter 121
10/09/15
Driven Hunts

Newsletter 120
01/09/15
Creative Conservation

Newsletter 119
12/08/15
Sariska from birth till death

Newsletter 118
11/08/15
Real Hunters

Newsletter 117
07/08/15
An Open Letter to the President: Operation Wild Lion

Newsletter 116
03/08/15
An Open Letter to Theo Bronkhorst

Newsletter 115
28/07/15
Cruel Nations

Newsletter 114
08/07/15
Subspecies or no subspecies

Newsletter 113
11/06/15
Tigers Moving Forward

Newsletter 112
13/04/15
Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Newsletter 111
26/03/15
Don't Shoot the Messenger

Newsletter 110
22/03/15
The Hunters

Newsletter 109
09/03/15
Gaia or God?

Newsletter 108
26/02/15
The Healing Power of Cats

Newsletter 107
18/02/15
Goddess Gaia

Newsletter 106
03/02/15
Ambassador Cats

Newsletter 105
24/01/15
Blondes have more fun

Invitation
09/01/15
Gaining ground for tigers

Newsletter 103
14/12/14
Tibo's Dilemma

Newsletter 102
05/12/14
Wilderness Man

Newsletter 101
25/11/14
Sariska fathers cubs with white Tigress Tibo

Newsletter 100
20/11/14
Cheetah Survival

Newsletter 99
30/09/14
Extract from JV's speech on Corbett's Freedom Day

Newsletter 98
15/08/14
The Power of the Picture

Newsletter 97
18/07/14
Tiger Corbett's Release

Newsletter 96
11/07/14
Corbett's Journey

Newsletter 95
18/06/14
Bush School: Where are they now?

Newsletter 94
12/05/14
Open letter to Jani Allen: Oscar Pistorius

Newsletter 93
07/05/14
John Varty interview with Sizie Modise

Newsletter 92
20/04/14
Marion's Big Cat Safari

Newsletter 91
24/02/14
Full energy flow

Newsletter 90
10/02/14
Investing in wild tigers

Newsletter 89
05/02/14
Where are the Champions?

Newsletter 88
27/01/14
Managing the Genes

Newsletter 87
16/01/14
Capture the Moment

Newsletter 86
07/12/13
The Princess Diana of Tigers - Julie:
 Sept 1999 - 5 Des 2013

Newsletter 85
26/11/13
The Communicators

Newsletter 84
26/11/13
A Letter to All Conservationists in SA 
Sparked by the whole Melissa Bachman Debacle
by Maxine Gaines

Newsletter 83
16/11/13
Tell me what happened

Newsletter 82
04/11/13
Profit is the Name of Your Game

Newsletter 81
30/10/13

Big Cat Cub Safari


Newsletter 80
18/10/13
In the Jaws of the Tiger

Newsletter 79
11/10/13
Open letter to Vice President Cyril Ramaphosa about rhino crisis

Newsletter 78
06/10/13
Open letter to Min of Defense, South Africa about rhino crisis

Newsletter 77
30/09/13
Digital Photography

Newsletter 76
06/09/13
Zoochosis

Newsletter 75
20/07/13
Rhino Horn Trade - Response

Newsletter 74
09/07/13
Raw Power

Newsletter 73
02/07/13
The Evolution of the Tracker

Newsletter 72
02/07/13
An Open Letter to the Honourable Edna Molewa, Minister of Water Affairs and Environmental Affairs

Newsletter 71
06/06/13
Using flash or spotlight on cats at night

Newsletter 70
14/05/13
Mirror mirror on the wall, who has the best eyesight of them all?

Newsletter 69
12/04/13
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fastest of them all?

Newsletter 68
25/03/13
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the best fighter of them all?

Newsletters 67
07/03/13
Wild Cheetah return to the Free State after 100 years

Newsletter 66
28/02/13
Seeking the genes

Newsletters 65
06/02/13
Corbett's Journey

Newsletters 64
22/01/13
In Search of a Mate

Newsletters 63
11/01/13
Rumble in the Jungle

Newsletters 62
30/10/12
Voronin Big Cat Safari Breaks All Records

Newsletters 61
09/12/12
A Journey to Nowhere

Newsletter 60
03/10/12
The John Hume Approach

Newsletter 59
28/09/12
Response to Rhino Horn Auction

Newsletters 58
24/09/12
A Letter to John Hume, SA biggest Rhino Breeder

Newsletters 57
05/09/12
Newsletters 56
01/08/12
Indian Government -
the wrong decision

Newsletter 55
11/07/12
What price must beauty pay?

Newsletter 54
21/04/12
Corbett's Freedom

Newsletter 53
15/04/12
Lethal injection or Freedom

Newsletters 52
04/04/12
The anatomy of an aggressive tiger

Newsletters 51
14/02/12
Majestic, breathtaking pictures

Newsletters 50
04/11/11
Tigress Calendar

Newsletters 49
19/11/11

Let your pictures do the talking

Newsletters 48
26/09/11

Rhino Wars

Newsletters 47
06/09/11
A Letter to the President

Newsletters 46
08/08/11
The Body Parts Scam

Newsletters 45
11/07/11
Tiger Subspecies

Newsletters 43
01/05/11
Your future and the Tiger

Newsletter 42
08/05/11
Talk to Me

Newsletter 41
26/01/11
Gaian Reminder

Newsletter 40
18/11/10
Ron's Journey

Newsletter 39
20/10/10
"Descreprimate"

Newsletter 38
06/09/10
Beauty comes at a price

Newsletter 37
18/08/10

The Light Has Gone Out


Newsletter 36
08/07/10
The Beautiful Game

Newsletter 35
05/07/10
The Ethics of
Tiger Green Hunting

Newsletter 34
21/06/10
Tiger Hunt

Newsletter 33
26/05/10
The Year of the Tiger

Newsletter 32
11/02/10

Riding the Tiger


Newsletter 31
24/01/10

Runti's Journey


Newsletter 30
12/01/10

To intervene or not to intervene -
that is the question...

Newsletter 29
07/12/09

Lion - Tiger - Human Communication


Newsletter 28
12/11/09

Emotional humans, emotional cats


Newsletter 27
03/11/09

Julie gives birth to 5 tiger cubs


Newsletter 26
24/09/09

International Tiger Day


Newsletter 25
17/08/09

To all Photographers


Newsletter 24
16/07/09

A Shot in Anger


Newsletter 22
24/04/09


Newsletter 21
24/03/09


Newsletter 19
14/01/09

Tiger Birth
at Tiger Canyons


Newsletter 16
10/10/08

Tiger Courting


Newsletter 11
29/01/08

Privatizing the Tiger


Newsletter 9
27/10/07

Newsletter 8
28/09/07

Newsletter 7
14/09/07

Water Cats


Newsletter 6
14/08/07

Tiger Intelligence


Newsletter 5
16/05/07

Tiger language
Tiger Boma


Newsletter 3
09/03/07

Interspecies communication


Newsletter 2
06/02/07

Cub relocation


Londolozi
Newsletters

Death of a Legend
17/08/09


Newsletter 20
10/02/09

Newsletter 15
17/08/08

Painted Wolves


Newsletter 13
11/04/08

Response to Elephant Trust
by Daryl Balfour


Newsletter 12
09/04/08

Elephant Trust