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Body Slam Cheetah Kill!

62-year-old consultant, Deon Hoon, has an interest in photography and his skill can be seen when he captured this incredible sighting of a cheetah kill at Pilanesberg.

Deon told the story: “This was only my second sighting of a cheetah kill. I previously saw a kill from beginning to end at Rietvlei Nature Reserve GP.

We arrived at Ratlhogo hide just after 7am and occupied the prime observation spot for the rest of the morning. Apart from some zebra, guinea fowl and impala it was relatively quiet.

A breeding herd of elephant arrived with young ones which gave us some great photographic opportunities. Suddenly someone entered the hide saying that Rain’s cubs (Rain is a famous cheetah in Pilanesberg) were in the parking lot. We thought that maybe they were thirsty and wanted to drink some water.

Having a cellphone in the hide is definitely not a good idea! While I was answering some messages, I heard a commotion and a splash under the hide. One of the cubs chased an impala and I missed it! I was largely disappointed. I could only get images of a very wet cheetah. Not wanting to miss a second chance of something happening, I changed settings and waited.

Some impala sauntered down to drink water but they seemed very alert. The next minute the cheetah attacked. I went into overdrive and clicked merrily along following the action. The adrenaline only kicked in when I reviewed the images back on the camera.

I then only realised that the cheetah went under a bush for a second and the impala got confused and turned back. The unlucky one tried to jump over the cheetah and he caught her in mid-air.

Later the other 2 cubs joined and together they dragged the kill away from the kill site to enjoy their meal. It was the longest 58 seconds ever.

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