A never-seen-before wildlife phenomenon is happening in the Samara Karoo Reserve on the plains of South Africa’s semi-desert wilderness: the appearance of an extraordinary cheetah family: Two mothers, with nine cubs!
In June, 2020, two cheetah mothers met by chance. One is an experienced mother and effective huntress with five cubs. The other mother has four cubs, but she’s younger and hindered by a blind eye, but affectionate and patient. After the initial meeting, the cubs become mixed up, resulting in one mother adopting the other’s cubs as her own. Stranger still; the mothers meet again and, instead of going their separate ways, stay together. Female cheetahs are solitary, this hybrid-family is a world first.
The family would go on to endure what can only be described as a wildlife soap opera. They face the many dangers of the African bush, endure starvation and injury, overcome abandonment and loss, cubs rise to insurmountable challenges and look out for one another. One mother struggles while the other succeeds, but they need each other if they’re to keep all nine cubs alive.