All around!

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A special Cheetah operation!

Yesterday I was able to participate and photo-document a very special operation. A specialist surgeon operated on one of our male Cheetah to ‘re-build’ a torn ligament in the cat’s left leg.

During the procedure I was sitting in a good photo position behind the large carnivore and I was assigned an additional job. Every few minutes I had to tickle inside the Cheetah’s ear to see if there was any reaction like twitching or growling. That way the vet could judge if more drugs were needed to keep the cat asleep. A very special task not part of my usual job description!


1 – The Cheetah and I

2 – Waiting for the surgeon

3 – Pre-Op, asleep and ready for surgery

4 – X-Ray in the bush

5 – The surgery begins

6 – Post-Op, just before wake-up

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A Cheetah Study!

This evening we had a beautiful Cheetah sighting on Thanda Safari. These are a few of the images I took of these incredible creatures. Have a good weekend!

The pictures were taken with a Canon EOS R6 Camera and a Canon EF 1/500 f/4 L lens.

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Drinks and Dinner

Yesterday evening I had an unusual sighting. Two Cheetah males were drinking at a waterhole and a Giraffe bull was feeding of a tree just above them on the dam wall. They were aware of one another but decided that the distance between them was enough for comfort.

In most encounters of these two species which I have observed previously they would not have deemed this distance enough and one or the other would have moved off.

Have a good week!

#Christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography #thandasafari @thandasafari

📷 Picture by Christian Sperka


It was very relaxing watching a Cheetah mum and her three cubs resting on the Thanda Safari savanna as the sun started to set.

I hope you are also having a relaxing weekend!

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I was able to get this footage after the sun had set this evening. A Cheetah Mum had hunted a large Impala ram as dinner for her family.

Please note how observant all them are to avoid to be surprised by another predator during their meal.

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These two Thanda Safari Cheetah males were this evening on the savanna. They kept looking for a female which was also somewhere on the open area (together with her three cubs).

I took this short video after the sun had set with a long 500mm lens.

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Let’s talk about big cats – the honorary members!

Beside the five official members of the genus Panthera (Tiger, Lion, Jaguar, Leopard and Snow Leopard) there are five more cat species which do not quite fit into the ‘small cat definition’ as they are rather large and/or have very special features.

I will introduce these over the next few days. Let’s start today with the fastest land animal: The Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus).

It is the only cat fully adapted for speed instead of power. It cannot roar and misses other big car traits. It is therefore classified in its own genus. I took this Cheetah portrait a few years ago at Thanda Safari.

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