National Geographic : 1999 Dec
Rough Rebuff of a Night Attack When a female and her adoles cent cubs wander into their territory, two brothers-dubbed the Steroid Boys-move in, aggressively challenging the mother (below). Fearing for her cubs' safety, she bats one of the males away (left) and shoves the other (right). Female cheetahs live alone with their young and mate just before the cubs reach independence at between 18 and 22 months. This cheetah paid a painful price for successfully fending off the brothers: Cuts on her leg sent her limping into the night. But she is lucky to be alive.