cheetah with face covered in blood, paces after a kill didn't go as planned - south africa

Today is International Cheetah Day!

It was a complete thrill to photograph this cheetah on my last day of safari in South Africa several years ago. With an horrible scratch drawn down her blood smeared face and a wound dribbling from her chest, she circled while panting heavily – her eyes searching somewhere in the distance. We arrived on the scene after the attack happened. Her intended victim remains a completely mystery.

And just when I thought I had the *perfect* image in my viewfinder (backlit , golden hour, in a field of grass), our guide suddenly made a hard turn to the right, almost knocking me onto the floor of the Land Rover. (Shenanigans!).

Chasing cheetahs – a breathtaking experience! Contrary to what many believe, predators don’t have it easy. Every kill is a risk that could cost a big cat her life.


Photo Credits:  Cheetah by Susan J. Preston, Kapama Wildlife Reserve, South Africa © 2012, all rights reserved