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Mara cheetahs

286 posts in this topic

  @AmyT on my first safari in the Serengeti we almost hit a leopard early morning as we were racing to get to the hot air balloon on time.  That leopard just got past us and we were going way too fast for those roads.  It really bothered us and cast a bit of a shadow over that morning.  So what you posted does not surprise me in the least.

 

@Antee I agree with you on this issue.  I have to wonder what the all-stars of conservation of other species (like Goodall, Fossey, Galdikas, etc) would do in the same situation.  I can't imagine any of them would chase off predators if they were monitoring the same sort of situation.  I don't know that the Cheetah Forever folks are conservationists as much as they are renegades.  I also cannot believe that KWS condones this, or are they paid to look the other way?

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For me that is the BIG question. Is this behavior permitted by those with an overview of the Mara Reserve which I assume is the KWS. 

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@wilddog - the governance of the Mara Reserve is in the hands of the Narok County Council who I suppose hands out the permits to the Forever Cheetah crew.  The drivers do have a KWS ranger in the vehicle at all times - though, as I mentioned it's all a rat race and quite dodgy ...... trying to police against tourists (yet dole out off-road permits at random trying to hustle the same tourists) ...... 

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Thanks for the clarification of authorising body @madaboutcheetah . It still makes me wonder what they are and are not authorised to do. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

It is with remorse that I have to say this, but Malika, the daughter of Malaika, has passed away. She was also pregnant and miscarried the day before which may have to deteriorate her condition further. Here is what Cheetah Forever is saying about it.

Quote

We are destroyed to announce that Malkia did not survive... This morning Edward found her in the same place as yesterday, she seemed to get better. But early in the afternoon, her state suddenly deteriorated, doubtless owed in an infection after the miscarriage of yesterday. He called again the vet who had a meeting with people of Nairobi and could not come as a matter of urgency... He had said him yesterday that she had at first to eat so that he can intervene. Edward did not never stop asking to rangers if they could bring her to eat. But nobody moved. Then Edward called the vets of the DSWT today, but Malkia died very fast ... Edward did all that he was able to ... But he felt very alone at the bedside of Malkia ... We are so so sad ...
www.cheetahforever.org

 

In nature I believe not intervening is the best solution unless it's a human caused issue. It's not the most popular stance and I am okay with that. While the passing is hard for all who love cheetah, like myself, I do want to think the passing of her and her unborn cubs gives way to another cheetah mom and her cubs to thrive. Even if it is upsetting to think about it.

R.I.P beautiful girl. You were taken too soon.

Edited by Lyss

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aw that is very sad, @Lyss but thank you for letting us know.

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Awww, I saw that on Facebook yesterday. We saw Malkia take down a Thomsons gazelle on our last safari.  She was still a new hunter but she did it.  How sad.

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Well... Malaika is famous but is not very good in spreading her genes.

She have only raised 3 of 28 cubs to adulthood. Now one of them is gone before making her own offspring. 

 

Left is two males. 

 

Her current litter is probably her last chance of being more succesfull. Before she is gone. 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Antee said:

Well... Malaika is famous but is not very good in spreading her genes.

She have only raised 3 of 28 cubs to adulthood. Now one of them is gone before making her own offspring. 

 

Left is two males. 

 

Her current litter is probably her last chance of being more succesfull. Before she is gone. 

 

 

 

Well, the males can make offspring too I think!

But yes, it is a tragic figure. Maybe (probably) her genes really are not good.

 

 

Malkia was the cheetah in the chase photos I posted in my report yesterday, so I am sad to hear this news

 

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Single males ......... not sure how successful they are going to be - come to think of it, I haven't read too much in recent times about Bawa in the Mara cheetah reports ....... He might be away someplace and well, though - maybe Kogatende?

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Posted (edited)

the latest Mara Cheetah Chat from the Mara Cheetah Project:
http://www.maracheetahs.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/MCP_Cheetah-Update-25_July-August-2017.pdf

 

What you miss in this particular one is news of Forrester, a collared male who spends a fair bit of time in Naboisho conservancy.  He regularly kills wildebeest on his own - he's killed 2 just this week!!  

Edited by Zarek Cockar
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Zarek,

 

I'd like to comment on the the Quarterly Report of the Mara Cheetah Project to which you linked.  First, however, I would like to thank you for organising and guiding three generations of my family on our mobile camping trip to Naboisho and Olderkesi in August.  Your ability to cope with a mixed age group ranging from 5 to 75 was exceptional.

 

Now to the Cheetah Report.  It was, in one sense, an easy read,. but I was left wondering whether the costs required to run the Project can be justified by any likely conservation gains.  What is being learned that is not already known?  Perhaps the most useful is the identification of which areas outside the National Reserve and existing conservancies are most and least suitable candidates for new conservancies (yellow and red circles on map respectively). [It is a pity that there is no numbering of figures and tables.]  There was, however, little apparent attempt to explain why - except for the observation that more of the 6 totemic species selected for consideration were observed in one area than another.  I would hazard a guess that this scarcely represents a novel discovery.  Was there any correlation with human and livestock densities or, for that matter, with prey densities?  A separate Table gives information on livestock numbers.  There is one column dealing with "average" without stating what it is the average of.  Thus, for cattle the total is some 80000 with an average of approximately 100 and a range of 2-950.  What's all that about?  The researchers conclude that all but one (hyaenas) of their 6 species avoid proximity to humans (I assume eco-tourists don't count as humans) and most like to drink.  Who'd have thought that?  Thank goodness for the study!

 

The Questionnaire Survey looked into Human Wildlife Conflict.  I was interested to learn that elephants had killed 11 people and injured a further 11, but was unclear whether this all happened in the 3 month period. (Lions had apparently injured 6, but killed 0 people).  Interestingly, the Maasai doctor at the Ololaimutia Health Clinic told my wife that wildlife injuries ranked third to pneumonia and malaria in his case load and showed us photos of example victims on his mobile phone.  However, unsurprisingly, livestock and crop losses were reported to be an order of magnitude greater.

 

Don't we already know  that predators compete with each other but will generally thrive, given a suitable prey base, which, in turn, requires a good habitat and freedom from too much disturbance by humans and their livestock?  How useful, therefore, is a specialised and localised species-based study of this nature?  To what extent is it diverting funds from more important areas of conservation?  In absolute terms, I'm not attempting to be negative - merely wondering about the relative importance of studies of this nature.  Perhaps, some of the ongoing genetic work might prove important.  There is an almost infinite supply of zoology students who would like to get employment in this area, but, unfortunately, not an infinite financial resource to indulge them. Perhaps, ecotourists could be persuaded to undertake this sort of work for free?

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2 hours ago, douglaswise said:

First, however, I would like to thank you for organising and guiding three generations of my family on our mobile camping trip to Naboisho and Olderkesi in August.  Your ability to cope with a mixed age group ranging from 5 to 75 was exceptional.

 

Looking forward to the trip report @douglaswise!     I have not read many dispatches from Olderkesi...

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Potentially sad news...Mara-Meru Cheetah Project just reported that one of the 5 cheetah male coalition has gone missing and the remaining 4 are limping.

 

From Facebook just now:

Quote

Something happened to the Mara Great Five – a male coalition of 5 males. Today we found only four of them sleeping deep in the bush. After waking up at 5.30 pm, one of them started making loud calls. These sounds spread over 2 km and meant for communication over long distances. The calling male then led the group to the area where most probably the member of a coalition had been lost. All four were limping on front limbs, which could be a result of fighting with someone the previous night. It is hard to say what had happened to the missing male. He was a co-leader of a group and often a decision maker. Such strong concern of only one male in a group can indicate his close relationship with the missing brother.

 

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@douglaswise I am not going to comment on how much use the studies are (because I don't know) but  I can tell you that prior to the studies most people were really quite ignorant about cheetahs even in a place like the Mara. Now a lot more information is shared and people are really much better infomred. How helpful is that? I don;t know but it feels helpful. And I think a lot of the success of these two projects has already been in getting tourists and guides and the local community involved. It's soemthing that Mara Cheetha Project in particualr appwar to have been very successful at.

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Oh dear....... @amybatt 

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Posted (edited)

Dreadful news @amybatt.   I hope they can still hunt with all four limping...

Edited by offshorebirder

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@douglaswise - I am not in a position to comment on the efficacy of their research to date.  However, they do seem to have well-credentialed staff including some with PhD's.   

 

And the act of collecting and archiving scat alone can be immensely valuable and can lead to future analysis and insights that are not possible today.  Analyzing scat can yield information regarding genetics, diet, health/diseases, and much more.

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Posted (edited)

Update on the coalition of 5. All 5 have been seen live on safariLive just about 2 minutes ago. They are all slightly limping, but all are together again. Such happy news. Footage of the 5 Musketeers back together. This is of the live drive that is happening right now. Scott Dyson, the guide with the cheetah is in a spotty reception area, and so the sightings may be brief. Tristan Dicks, is in the Sabi Sands with a resident leopard named Hosana. In case you wondered. :)

5 back together.png

Edited by Lyss
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