Anne Hilborn

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In my blog I ramble on about various aspects of cheetahs and doing fieldwork that interest me. There is the occasional tangent about academia, but mostly it is cheetah pictures.

Strudel:Queen of the Side Eye

By Anne Hilborn, Apr 17 2016 11:21PM

August 2014

So leaving behind the story of Asti, let's move on to an appreciation of a young female named Strudel. She has been hanging around a beautiful area known as Sopa Valley, a small valley tucked away to the west of Seronera. It is bounded by wooded hills, but the valley is fairly open with big spreading acacias and areas of long grass plains. There aren’t many roads so it isn’t swarming with cars, and the only drawback is one or two too many tsetse flies. It is a very pleasant place to spend the day, and if you are with a slightly pissed off looking cheetah who is hunting, it is even better.

Strudel possess a very sweet face that for some reason is always set is a pissed off expression. It's as if her face really did freeze like that when she was young. In fact it is so marked that I was able to recognize her because of it. I would approach a random cheetah, see that it was a female...think to myself 'oh what a sweetie!' then notice the narrowed eyes and laid back ears and say 'Aha, I bet that is Strudel'.

Strudel- Master of looking unamused

One of the days I followed her she went after a male Thomson’s gazelle. I really thought she had him, but he managed to escape. This did not seem to improve her mood.

A gazelle innocently walks along
A gazelle innocently walks along

Wait...Is that a cheetah butt in the grass?
Wait...Is that a cheetah butt in the grass?

And they're off!

Cheetahs are faster, but gazelles can out maneuver them with quick changes in direction

She gets so close!

But ultimately fails

And goes and sulks on a termite mound

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