Klaserie River Sands

Cheeky: Black-backed jackal versus cheetah cub

Cheetah cub and black-backed jackal in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa

© Jaco Stander

Written, and photographs, by Jaco Stander

It was close to the 14th borehole in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park where I saw this black-backed jackal tormenting two cheetah cubs as they were following their mother.

Cheetah cub and mother, with black-backed jackal in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa

© Jaco Stander

The jackal managed to nip the one cub’s tail and was promptly chased by the cub.

Black-backed jackal about to bite a cheetah cub's tail in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa

© Jaco Stander

Black-backed jackal bites down on cheetah cub's tail in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa

© Jaco Stander

Black-backed jackal with cheetah cub's tail in mouth in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa

© Jaco Stander

During this trip through the Kgalagadi we followed three cheetah mothers, each with two cubs, and noticed that in all groups there was one healthy cub, while the other had injuries.

We now suspect that these injuries were most likely caused by the tormenting jackals.

Cheetah cub chasing black-backed jackal in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa

© Jaco Stander

About five minutes after taking this series of photos, the two cubs and their mother were chased by two lions that came from across the riverbed. They were chased over the dunes and fortunately all three were reunited and survived the lions.

This chase with the lions happened so quickly that there was unfortunately no time to capture it on film.

Black-backed jackal running away from cheetah cub in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa

© Jaco Stander



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