Cheetahs Caught A Young Antelope But Let It Go Again

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

 Cheetahs pat baby antelope( by Michel Denis-Huot). Wildlife photographer Michel Denis-Huot shot this incredible animal scence: Three Cheetahs caught a young antelope, played with it for a while and apparently let it go unharmed!

Astonishingly, these cheetahs, whose instinct is to hunt for food, decided to just play with this baby impala.

The cheetahs first knocked the antelope down, but then they remained with the young animal and they were just licking it off and putting their paws on its head.

It seems as if these three cheetahs simply weren’t very hungry…

  Antelope cuddling with Cheetah (by Michel Denis-Huot)
This cheetah cuddles with the baby antelope…

  Cheetah licking baby antelope (by: Michel Denis-Huot)
…this one licks off the neck of the antelope.

Why don’t the cheetahs kill the antelope?
It might have something to do with the antelope’s behavior: If the animal doesn’t struggle or run away to free itself, the cheetah’s instinctual drive goes haywire and doesn’t send the necessary instructions to kill. Mix this and a stomach that’s already full and the predator views its prey in a completely different light.

According to one source this story indeed has a happy ending; after one tense moment when it looked as though one cheetah would bite the impala on the neck, the youngster ran away. On the other hand, some people commented that the antelope has actually been killed and eaten finally. Even others claim that these photos have been manipulated with photography software.

In this context, remember the leopard and the mouse story?

So what do we want to believe today…?

More wildlife photography by Michel Denis-Huot: loves to hear from you. Did the cheetahs really not kill the antelope in the end? Your comment is welcome and encouraged. Pura Vida!

10 thoughts on “Cheetahs Caught A Young Antelope But Let It Go Again

  1. Im going to stick to the story said here because it has a happy ending. It makes sense the cheetah loosing its natural instincts to kill were lost due to the fact that the calf didnt run away. Great pics and great story!!

  2. Seriously? Okay, the sun is at quite a low angle as you can see from the shadows of the animals on the ground and the brush around them, so there would not be a large shadow cast on the animal’s neck.

    Also, ever heard of perspective? In the second picture they are both standing directly parallel to the camera. In the third the antelope is slightly further away. Look at it’s hooves. If they were standing at the same distance their hooves would be at the same ‘height’. This does not mean the antelope is floating in mid-air.

  3. I’m sorry, but I can’t buy this. Look at the last image: the shadow of the head of the antelope on the cheetah’s head is missing and the cheetah’s tongue doesn’t cast the right shadow on the cylindrical surface of the antelope’s neck. Also, the size of the antelope is not consistent with the other photos. In the third image, her height is above cheetah’s shoulders while in the second one, antelope’s height is under the same reference. Am I wrong?

  4. I’ve seen a lionness adopt baby animals on discovery, after a couple hours it’s killed by other members of the pride, this particular lionness repeated with more than one baby impala (or something like that)

    I LOVE you Fox! I’m so thankful to have crossed paths with you wow a few years ago now on Vox!!

    aloha and much love my friend


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *