Cheetah with Impala Kill
Caption: Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) takes a break from feeding on its kill, a female impala, to scan for any approaching scavengers, Mashatu Game Reserve, Tuli Block, Botswana.
Camera: Canon EOS 50D; Lens: Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM; Focal length: 200mm; Shutter speed: 1/1250; Aperture: f/7.1; ISO: 400
The cheetah, once it had eaten its fill, moved away from the kill to rest in the shade of some nearby shrubs. After stretching and yawning, it began carefully grooming and cleaning itself, very like a domestic cat would do.
In the picture (right), it’s using it’s tongue to lick and clean its foreleg. Note the visible, unsheathed claws.
The cheetah’s claws — used mainly for providing traction during its short, blistering runs and not as weapons of attack — can only be partially retracted.
In contrast to this, other cats which either stalk or pounce on their prey, have claws that retract into sheaths when at rest, ensuring the claws remain sharp and ready for use.
We were interested that the first scavenger to arrive and start feeding on the remains of the kill was a tawny eagle (below), beating the resident jackals and hyenas to this free meal.
Your opinion is important and I'd love you to vote on this post by giving it a thumbs up or thumbs down. And, if you feel it deserves a thumbs up, then please consider "Liking" it or hitting the Google +1 button. Please also feel free to ask questions or add comments below.