Hello little antelope, would you like to play with us?

Coming from three deadly cheetahs, it's the kind of invitation that's best refused - but amazingly, this impala escaped unscathed from its encounter.

Luckily for the youngster, it seems these three male cheetahs simply weren't hungry.

That's because unlike other big cats, the cheetah hunts in the daytime, either in the early morning or late afternoon. The bursts of speed needed to catch their prey tire them out - meaning they need to rest after a kill.

And that seems to be the secret to the antelope's survival, as it's likely it fell into the cheetahs' clutches when they were already full - and tired out - from an earlier hunt.

Photographer Michel Denis-Huot, who captured these amazing pictures on safari in Kenya's Masai Mara in October last year, said he was astounded by what he saw.

'These three brothers have been living together since they left their mother at about 18 months old,' he said. 'On the morning we saw them, they seemed not to be hungry, walking quickly but stopping sometimes to play together.

'At one point, they met a group of impala who ran away. But one youngster was not quick enough and the brothers caught it easily.'

No claws for alarm: Astonishingly, these cheetahs, whose instinct is to hunt for food, decide to play with this baby impala

These extraordinary scenes followed, as the cheetahs played with the young impala the way a domestic cat might play with a ball of string.

'They knocked it down, but then they lost interest,' said Michel. 'For more than 15 minutes, they remained with the young antelope without doing anything other than licking it or putting their paws on the impala's head.'

Sticking your neck out: Oblivious to the danger, the impala appears to return the affection to the cheetahs

Even more extraordinarily, this story has a happy ending - after one tense moment when it looked as though one cheetah would bite the impala on the neck, the youngster ran away.

Let's hope it didn't tell all its friends how nice those big, scarylooking cheetahs really are when you get to know them. (Source)

New found friends: The new-found friends part with a farewell lick

Sprint finish: Impala is off the menu as the youngster makes its exit

Responses to "Pictured: Three cheetahs spare tiny antelope's life... and play with him instead"

  1. Anonymous says:

    There is much about the natural world we haven't been privy to or have experienced. More so, there is much about animals that we still don't know. Thank you for sharing!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    How heart-warming! It indicates how, in the natural world, animals do not kill for sport, rather taking only what they need to live.

  3. Anonymous says:

    My favorite creature on the planet. It is said that the black stripes down the Cheetah's face are tracks from tears of sorrow at being so different from the other Big Cats.

    Cheetahs are almost extinct. There are less than 5000 of this gorgeous and noble animal left. Please do what you can to help protect and preserve them.

  4. Anonymous says:

    at least wild animals do not kill for sport or use other animal as products which being caged and slaughtered into the pieces. i respect wild life animals :) there is so many things which humans can learn from animals such as
    ~ don't kill for the taste
    ~ do not kill for fun and sport
    ~ mercy for the weak , don't kill them
    ~ animals can show love better than us humans :)

  5. Anonymous says:


Write a comment