On a game drive out of Chitabe Camp in Botswana’s Okavango Delta we came across a female cheetah, obviously hungry and on the lookout for possible prey. We followed her in our game drive vehicle for some time and were rewarded with action when she chased down and killed an impala.
The spotted cat managed to kill the impala quickly, but her appearance startled other creatures nearby such as francolins, starlings and monkeys, who in turn began making noisy alarm calls. The cheetah was nervous, as they normally are after making a kill and kept looking around, obviously aware that all the noise being made could easily attract unwanted attention to her and her hard-won kill. The cheetah ate as fast as it could and when a spotted hyena showed up, we thought she was about to lose her kill, but the hyena failed to notice exactly where she was and moved off.
We watched the cheetah as it relaxed a bit and ate more and more of the impala and we took pictures of the beautiful cat.
Hyena steals a cheetah's kill - Copyright © Grant Atkinson
An hour later the hyena returned and this time it made no mistake and charged in, driving the cheetah off in an instant. Fortunately cheetahs are adapted to eating hastily and the female cat moved away with a full belly whilst the hyena finished off the remainder of the impala.