Kenya: Rare Cheetah With 7 Cubs Steals the Show At the Mara

Siligi watches over her cubs in the Maasai Mara National Reserve on November 15, 2019.
15 November 2019

The Maasai Mara is in the headlines again after a cheetah gave birth to seven cubs.

The Cheetah, nicknamed 'Siligi' (Maasai name meaning hope) and her cubs have attracted droves of tourists.

Felix Migoya, the secretary of East Africa Tour Guides and Drivers Association, says Siligi has become a centre of attraction for the last six days after she was discovered by local tour guides.

"It's a breathtaking scene for tourists," said Mr Migoya.

Mr Migoya said the cubs appear to be about a month old.

Cheetahs usually give birth to three to five cubs and are very exposed to predators from birth, to see seven of them is very unusual, Mr Migoya said.

He added that Siligi's cubs have already escaped the claws of a lioness who preyed on them five days ago.

Maasai Mara National Reserve deputy warden Eddy Nkoitoi said his team is monitoring the movement of the cheetah and its cub, but they can only hope that the cat family will survive the jungle law.

"Cheetah cubs have low survival rate due to predators like lions, hyenas and only about 10 percent of reach maturity. To see seven cubs at once from one litter is very rare," said Mr Nkoitoi when he spoke to the Nation on Phone.

He said rangers have been protecting Siligi and her cubs since it gave birth in a deserted area known as Kisincha, which is a lion's den. But this week, Siligi has been moving towards Simba Lodge.

Mr Nkoitoi said the cheetah will hopefully see one or two of her new cubs to adulthood.

Two months ago, a photographer at a camp in the Mara was in for a surprise when he came across an incredibly rare, "blacker" newly born Zebra.

Mr Antony Tira - A renowned tour guide-cum photographer - at Matira bush camp, spotted and photographed the black dotted foal and posted it on the camp's Facebook page attracting a lot of social media attention.

"At first I thought it was a zebra that had been captured and painted or marked for purposes of migration. I was confused when I first saw it," Mr Tira told the Nation.

He said on closer examination, he realised that what he was seeing was actually a zebra with melanin disorder. It was hardly a week old, it appeared weak and very different from the others for it has not stripes and was stuck close to a female adult zebra, probably its mother.

The discovery caused stampede in the reserve with tour drivers and photographers, hurriedly taking tourists to the lookout area in the game reserve near the Mara River for the rare find.

Last month, Maasai Mara was again under focus after another rare zebra foal was spotted in the Mara triangle South West of the reserve bordering Tanzania.

The golden coloured baby zebra has elicited a lot of reactions from social media platforms.

The rare 'blonde' zebra, just like the 'darker' one received attention from internet users, tour guides and international tourists who were quick to point out their uniqueness.

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