[an error occurred while processing this directive]


  Field Notes From
Growing Up Cheetah

<< Back to Feature Page

Growing Up Cheetah On AssignmentArrows

View Field Notes
From Photographer

Anup Shah

In most cases these accounts are edited versions of a spoken interview. They have not been researched and may differ from the printed article.

Photograph by Anup Shah


Growing Up Cheetah On Assignment Photographer Growing Up Cheetah On Assignment Photographer
Growing Up Cheetah

Field Notes From Photographer
Anup Shah

Best Worst Quirkiest
    The best part was when Amani, the matriarch featured in the story, showed her acceptance of me by ignoring me. It was as though she decided I was harmless, and she could get on with her everyday life. It took a long time to reach this point. Initially, Amani's body language was not very encouraging. She would look worriedly over her shoulder and then move away some distance. It took about two or three weeks to get into a position where I could photograph her.

    Amani was the focus of the whole story, so it was very frustrating when I lost her completely midway through the work. I had been photographing her off and on, which made the shoot staggered. But she moved deeper into her range. The area is very rocky and full of potholes, so it was difficult to drive around to find her. In fact, I didn't find her again until much later.

    Hyenas often show up to poach when cheetahs are feeding. When Amani killed a gazelle, she decided to store it under my car to hide it from the hyenas. So there we were, me in the car, the gazelle under the car, and the cheetah just outside, looking back at me whenever I happened to glance out. Her cubs were under the car, feeding in the shade. With no hyenas to help out, the mother cheetah and cubs took about four hours to finish eating the kill.


© 2005 National Geographic Society. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy       Advertising Opportunities       Masthead

National Geographic Magazine Home Contact Us Forums Shop Subscribe