Lunchtime for Cheetahs

Here is a sequence of a cheetah stalking, catching and killing a gazelle from our recent visit to the Mara North Conservancy in Kenya:

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First she spies an animal that bears scrutiny. She gets low to the ground.

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It doesn’t take long to draw a crowd, which is keeping a respectful distance.

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And the chase is on. It’s going to be the guy with the antlers.

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Closing the gap.

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This will just about do it.

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And it’s lunchtime for the cheetah and her two young male cubs.

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Celebrity Rhinos

Here is Queen Elizabeth, a rhino at the ol chorro rhino sanctuary, North Mara Conservancy, Kenya. They set up the sanctuary in 2008 in hopes of mating a pair of rhinos. At the time Kenya had just come through an election that resulted in violence, and former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan was called in to mediate. Hence the names of the rhinos, Kofi Annan and Queen Elizabeth. Kofi Annan – the rhino – is not yet old enough to mate.

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Click the photo to enlarge.

Great Big Circle

Flying the Qatar Airways 15+ hour nonstop from Doha to ATL last week took us on a great circle route that would be fascinating to do on the surface, straight up the Caspian Sea, closer to Baku than to the Turkmenistan coast, then east of Grozny, along the edge of the Volga flood plain west of Astrakhan, beyond which it’s not far from the Kazakh border.

Further north we crossed the southwestern Russian agricultural heartland, not far east of the frozen conflict in the Donbass. Then across the Baltics, just south of St. Petersburg and Helsinki, across Norway and over the sea near Bergen, entirely north of Iceland, across the Greenland ice cap north of Tasiilaq, from Baffin Island down west of Cleveland and on in.

We passed over Esfahan and just to the west of Qom and Teheran:

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Those of you who have gotten to southwest Iran before us will know this, but judging from this photo there may not be many of you: Southwest Iran looks pretty darned desolate.

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