April 20, 2016
A Mother’s Touch
- as seen by -Emma Balunek
On one of my family’s early morning drives in the Masai Mara, we found a mother cheetah with her four young cubs chasing each other. It was the perfect time for photos as the sunlight on the cheetahs enhanced the beautiful golden color of their coats.
Cheetahs are considered Vulnerable by the IUCN Redlist of Endangered Species and are listed in CITES Appendix I. Preserving remaining populations is a significant task.
In the 1970s, there were about 15,000 cheetahs in Africa. According to IUCN, their population is now estimated to be as low as 7,000. The remaining cheetahs are mostly in Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, and East Africa. Their numbers have dropped due to habitat loss, reduction in their prey, and disease.
One organization, Mara-Meru Cheetah Project in Kenya, has a mission to promote the conservation of cheetahs through education. By teaching young kids in Africa to respect their native wildlife, there is a more hopeful future for all.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This photo was chosen as one of our top submissions from our Wild View Love Gone Wild Assignment.
Nikon D7200, 80-400mm lens