Thursday, 14 November 2019

Cheetah 4

Cheetahs are the fastest land animals, but they aren't the strongest. They have incredible eye sight which helps them spot their prey from a few kilometers away. They like high vantage points to spot their prey. Because of this, many times they climb on to the tourist vehicles.

How does such a close encounter affect us as well as the cheetahs? In the era of social media, cheetah climbing up the vehicle is perceived to be an ultimate adventure. To be so close to a cheetah means a quick internet sensation amongst friends. Guides and drivers deliberately go close to the cheetahs to encourage them to climb up. So the tourists get an adrenaline rush and perhaps fame in the social media.

But many wildlife experts have raised concerns over this. The cheetahs can hurt themselves while climbing up the vehicle.  In the wild, with prides of lions or leopards or scavengers like hyenas roaming around, hurting themselves may mean the end of life for a cheetah. Also when cheetahs come so close to humans, they grow familiar with human presence and cannot differentiate between innocent tourists and poachers.

Thankfully Kenyan forest department has banned such actions so that guides and drivers maintain safe distance from the animals. 

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