National Geographic : 2012 Nov
A young cheetah mother named Etta by researchers scans the Serengeti for signs of danger while her four 12-week-old cubs wrestle. A long-running study has found that the majority of cubs here are raised by a small group of cheetah supermoms. gazelle, drawing to within 40 yards of him, while he has remained oblivious to her presence. "It's too early to tell if Etta is going to turn out to be a supermum," Durant says. " is is only her rst litter. But the fact that she has brought four cubs out of the den and has raised them this far is an encouraging sign." e gazelle is big and healthy, with a lot of meat on him. Etta takes another couple of quick, furtive steps forward, then crouches and waits, looking like a sprinter on the starting blocks, poised and ready for the gun. A tense minute crawls by, then another. Suddenly, and seemingly for no reason at all, Etta just stands up and strolls away. Something doesn't feel right to her---a whi of hyena on the breeze or maybe the scent of lions. Whatever it is, to a mother of four young cubs alone on the Serengeti, one fat gazelle isn't worth the risk. She beckons to her cubs to come along, and together they trot o into the violet haze. j BIG CAT WEEK In support of National Geo- graphic's Big Cats Initiative, Nat Geo WILD presents a week of exotic felines. Prime time in December; check local listings.