Battle for survival: Leopard confronts giant antelope in dramatic siege

Remarkable photographs capture the dramatic moment a cheetah grabs a huge antelope and wrestles it to the ground before devouring it alongside its pack.

A photographic tour group spotted five cheetahs from three different families on the banks of the Talek river in Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya, last week.

The group, led by Canadian photographer Jeffery Wu, followed the predators and waited patiently for six hours before the Cheetahs targeted an unlucky trio of antelope – known as topis – that had come to rest in the grass.

After stealthily approaching their prey the leader of the pack launched its attack, bringing down one of the topis in less than three seconds in an acrobatic fashion.

Barely a second later the rest of the cheetahs join the leader and overwhelm the prey. Mr Wu said it is ‘very rare’ to see a single cheetah hunt an adult topi because they can be too large for the predator.

He added: ‘It is strong and fast with great stamina and very sharp horns. It is very easy for a cheetah to get injured during the fight.

‘But for five cheetahs, hunting larger prey like topi and wildebeest is their usual routine because only larger sized mammals can satisfy that many appetites.’

A photographic tour group spotted five cheetahs from three different families on the banks of the Talek river in Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya, last week. The group- led by Canadian photographer Jeffery Wu elected to follow the predators and waited patiently for six hours before the cheetah’s targeted an unlucky trio of antelope (pictured, the moment one struck)

The leader of the pack caught up to one of the topis in less than three seconds and brought it down in an acrobatic fashion that makes for a stunning sequence of pictures. Barely a second later the rest of the cheetahs join the leader and overwhelm the prey (pictured, the cheetah brings down the topi)

Jeffrey Wu a Canadian professional wildlife photographer, and conservationist who has been leading tours in Africa for six years said: ‘It is very rare to see a single cheetah hunting an adult topi, for the reason being topi is a larger size antelope, it is strong and fast with great stamina and very sharp horns, it is very easy for a cheetah to get injured during the fight’

The topi, a large antelope, crumbles to the ground as the cheetah refuses to let up. Mr Wu explained: ‘For five cheetahs hunting larger prey like topi and wildebeest is their usual routine. Only larger sized mammals can satisfy five adult male cheetah’s appetites’

Recalling the attack, Mr Wu said: ‘The leader of the pack caught up with one topi and jumped to its back, the topi tried to kick back but the cheetah was already sliding to the side. It used this kicking to grab the topi which lost balance and fell’

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