Last year we witnessed some extraordinary sightings involving a rather eccentric Cheetah we called Sehema, this means silly in Setswana.
Two of the highlights came in as many days. The first involved some of our Selinda Camp guests who came across what seemed to be a Cheetah stalking something. Cheetah are our rarest cat so this was something to get excited about.
Mots, our guide, attempted to orientate the vehicle to identify the pray to find that it was something rather spotty in the thick grass. Not quite Cheetah spotty but Leopard spotty. Was Sehema confused, bad sighted or as the guests joked looking to make some Cheeteopard cubs. The pantomime enveloped further as a Side striped jackal came to check out was going on. They sometimes follow predators to pick up on theirs kills. The jackal must have made a noise as the leopard turned around to look at it, in doing so saw that some crazy cheetah was literally on his tail thinking about lunch. Cheetahs are smaller and more fragile than Leopards, there would only be one winner. The leopards bolted after Sehema who using his great speed tailed it out of there smartish.
He must have then moved north as another guide, Foster, saw him in another bizarre situation the next day. The guests were this time following a pride of lions primed and ready to charge three warthogs. As the guests cameras were ready to shoot the action one chirped up to say they could see, through his zoom lens, another cat on the other side of the warthogs. Almost instantly so did the Lions. Lions hate other cats and will go to every length to kill any competition. Five females charged Sehema and with the warthogs in between the cats they ran right through them. The warthogs did not know what on earth was going on, Lions everywhere but completely ignoring them as their focus was on Sehema. Again the Cheetahs speed got Sehema out of any trouble – just.
The good news is that Sehema, despite his rather bizarre habits is still with us and can often be seen in and around our airstrip.
Happy April Fools Day
Sehema the brave or Sehema the eccentric – maybe both