The Story Behind "Coalition"

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The Story Behind "Coalition"


Drew tells the story behind the making of this image from Exceptional Creatures

I just returned from Kenya, where I spent multiple days in Amboseli and Maasai Mara.

These lands are triumphantly home to all sorts of creatures, big and small. Of course, some of the most captivating are the biggest and on this trip, I had my sights set on the big cats.

Here, two young cheetahs hang out in Mara North conservancy in the Musiara Marsh, one of the most spectacular places in the Mara because of the population of big cats. These two young males are the sons of Kisaru who became “famous” when she managed to successfully nurture most of her cubs to adulthood, a rarity in the world of cheetahs but not in this special region of the Mara.

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We followed Kisaru and her sons for 5 days. Over the course of my time observing them, I watched these elite hunters take down prey after prey. From logs, termite mounds, or other higher natural features, cheetahs will wait patiently from the tall vantage point of their perches, searching for a meal. Watching them hunt is incredible; they are quiet, tactful - and, of course, extraordinarily fast.

Kisaru’s sons are regular fixtures on the Musiara Marsh, and I loved the synchronicity of the two brothers side by side, looking out together over the land. This image was taken in the waning seconds of daylight, and the dark background lets you focus on the pair.