Cheetah – Ruaha National Park, Tanzania.
Cheetah have always had a special place in my heart. When I lived in South Africa it was always an incredible treat to see these graceful felines. I have very fond memories of some of the regulars that used to frequent our part of the greater Kruger National Park – a coalition of young brothers who had a special knack for ambush hunting of some of the larger antelope – wildebeest and kudu in the thorny scrub. Whilst the first ever successful “hunt” I witnessed was a mother cheetah with her 4 almost fully grown cubs who caught a small (& for our area, actually rare) antelope called a Sharpe’s grysbok.
The cheetah captured here was one from a similar family group in Ruaha National Park. An Adult female with her 4 fully grown cubs. The cubs were of an age and size when they would likely not stay with their mother for much longer and so it felt even more special to see them together. It was why I named this print “Solitude” a nod to the fact that the family would soon split and the youngsters would go their separate ways.
With Cheetah being rare and indeed far-roaming we were exceptionally lucky to get to spend a lot of time with this family during our time in Ruaha. This particular shot was from our first afternoon when we encountered them on a semi open plane actively attempting to find themselves some dinner. They were moving through the long grass, the youngsters occasionally forgetting the task at hand and being drawn to play with each other. They would stop on any raised area and sit surveying the landscape accessing sights and smells that would indicate the opportunity for a meal. It was the rainy season, one of my favourite times to visit Africa, the sky was dark, laden with the promise of rain, a shaft of light broke through the heavy clouds illuminating the lush green landscape, the tall grasses acting to offer the hunting cats concealment but also providing a soft frame with the wispy seed and flower heads grounding and anchoring the cat as her piercing orange eyes surveyed the landscapes for movements I couldn’t even begin to detect.
Why Cheetah’s Need Your Help:
Cheetah are one of the most endangered big cats on the planet, although sadly many people are not aware of the challenges they face and how close they are to extinction. Official figures state there are now fewer than 7,100 left in the wild across the whole of Africa. To give that figure some context, there are 20,000 lions in the wild in Africa, another species that too is under threat, but at this stage considerably more prolific.
Like many other species the story is a familiar one: a combination of habitat loss and conflict with an ever increasing human population are posing the most serious threats to their survival and has already seen them eradicated from 90% of their historic range across Africa. Sadly their popularity within the illegal pet trade also plays a role in their demise in the wild.
Whilst currently still listed as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Redlist, the recent findings of populations surveys, revealing the startling declines in their numbers have led to a call for their status to be upgraded to “endangered” to truly reflect the dire situation they are facing.
Cheetah’s are versatile and free-roaming big cats, who’s conservation requires large protected areas and also support to mitigate the conflict with communities and farmers who live alongside them. With this is mind I have chosen to once again use the donation from my cheetah prints to support an organisation that is working to conserve large areas of Africa’s wilderness areas and is also committed to working closely with the communities around and within those areas to help people live successfully alongside the wildlife. African Parks beyond their commitment to protect the habitat cheetah’s need, have also been working hard to support cheetah specific conservation within their managed areas, this has included monitoring and research in all the areas they occur as well as the re-introduction of cheetah to Majete Wildlife Reserve and Liwonde National Park in Malawi and also to Bangweulu in Zambia, allowing these graceful big cats to reclaim some of their lost historic ranges.
African Parks also offers protection too Cheetah in some of the more vulnerable parts of West Africa – their work in Zakouma National Park in Chad and W National Park (& the adjacent Pendjari National Park) in Benin is critical for the survival of this Northwest African subspecies.
If you would like to support African Parks directly or learn more about the incredible work they do in some of the most vulnerable parts of Africa, you can visit their website by clicking here: https://www.africanparks.org
Instead of offering bulk mass-produced prints, I want you to know that you are buying something special and unique. I feel that people should purchase fine art photography prints because the artwork speaks to them and they feel an emotional connection to the print and the photographer. All my prints are strictly available as low number limited edition runs. As a limited edition print sells its price will appreciate accordingly in the online store, as fewer remain available to purchase.
Printed on Aluminium using the Chromaluxe process. It offers a unique, sleek contemporary finish. It has a sub-frame which allows the image to be mounted directly to the wall, thus achieving a flawless floating effect, without the need for additional framing.
Should you wish to purchase a limited edition print in a different size to that listed, please contact me and I will be happy to discuss your requirements and provide a quote for the cost to produce the print in your desired size. I am also happy to provide quotes for printing onto Archival Grade Fine Art Papers and framing if you would like to have your print printed and framed in a more traditional way.