The collared cheetah (Elena, see below), with lovely back lighting. This is the kind of photo I day-dreamed about bringing back from my trip!
I'm going to send a link to this photo and a few others to a project http://www.tllf.org.za/cheetahs/) that is working to monitor cheetahs in the park. Apparently, they use the markings on the insides of the cheetahs' legs to identify them, and so ask people to submit their photos where the legs are nicely visible, along with information about the location and date/time.
Information on this sighting:
Date: 10 September 2008
Location: ~1 km from Mata-Mata gate (within South Africa)
No. of cheetahs in group: 2
How many were photographed: 2
This is "individual 1," fitted with radio collar
**UPDATE: Got a reply from the researchers:
Thank you so much for the photos of the cheetah. They are of a female
Elena that we first found in September 2006 with her mother (they parted
ways shortly afterwards) and her one remaining cub of her first ever
litter. She had the 4 cubs in September 2007 and unfortunately they
slowly got whittled down to just this one son. We think that she was
struggling to feed them and they were struggling to keep up with her. It
sure is tough out there!! Her son is now beginning to play a bit of a
role in her hunting attempts and he will be with his mother until he is
about 18months old, so 6 more months to go before he is on his own.
We really appreciate your interest in this fascinating project.
Gus and Margie Mills"
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Northern Cape, South Africa