In the wild, nature unfolds its own set of rules, which can be both awe-inspiring and heart-wrenching. A recent viral video captured in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, on the border of the Southern Serengeti plains in Tanzania, has provided us with a remarkable insight into the circle of life in the African bush. The video documents an intense encounter between a newborn cheetah and a newborn Grant’s gazelle, shedding light on the complexities of the natural world and the survival instincts that drive its inhabitants.
Video Source: Latest Sightings (YouTube)
The footage begins by introducing us to a female cheetah and her four small cubs, which are estimated to be around two months old. The mother cheetah, ever watchful, seems to be on the prowl for a quick meal, as the family had enjoyed a proper feast the day before. The setting is serene and the cubs, full of curiosity, playfully investigate their surroundings.
As fate would have it, a baby Grant’s gazelle happens upon the scene. The tiny gazelle, in search of its mother, decides to take a rest beside another young gazelle. What makes this encounter particularly fascinating is that both the cheetah cubs and the gazelles appear to be just a day or so old. Their wobbly movements and the presence of umbilical cords still attached to their stomachs reveal their tender age.
The mother cheetah immediately notices the presence of the newborn gazelles and begins to stalk towards them. However, she perceives the baby gazelles as being too frail to be a proper meal for her. Instead of killing them right away, she decides to turn this encounter into a hunting lesson for her cubs.
With the cheetah mother’s guidance, her cubs start to partake in a hunting exercise. Initially unsure, they soon begin to rely on their instincts and learn how to stalk, chase, and capture prey. It’s a remarkable display of the mother’s teaching skills and the cubs’ ability to learn quickly.
The baby gazelles do their best to resist their impending fate. They put up a feeble struggle against their predators, but it becomes apparent that the odds are stacked against them. In the end, the cheetah mother decides to catch one of the baby gazelles for her family. The cubs, ecstatic with their first taste of success, are jubilant. One lucky gazelle manages to escape, leaving the cheetah family somewhat bewildered.
Francis, the observer of this extraordinary event, reveals that it was his first time in 12 years of observing wildlife to witness cheetah cubs of this size and age attempting to hunt. Typically, cubs engage in such activities at the age of 5-8 months. This makes the video a truly unique and rare insight into the early stages of a cheetah’s life.
This video serves as a stark reminder of the inherent cruelty of nature. While it may seem impossible to watch and heart-breaking to some, it’s essential to recognize that interfering in such situations can disrupt the natural order and the survival of the species in the African bush.