Wildlife Photographers Captured Five Cheetahs Crossing A Crocodile-Infested River In Africa

It’s common knowledge that cats and water don’t mix. Have you ever tried to give a house cat a bath? It does not end well. As it turns out, big cats are no different. But while they don’t like to swim, they can actually be quite good at it.

Cheetahs, the fastest land mammals in the world, are one such example of that. They don’t like to get in water and will avoid it as much as possible, though they’re actually strong swimmers.

As it so happens, a couple of photographers were on the banks of the Talek River in the Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya when they noticed a group of cheetahs approaching. As they watched the five cheetahs, they were stunned to witness the group jump into the rushing water and start swimming across. Not only did they get to witness this rare moment firsthand, but they also captured it on camera.

The five cheetahs are well known in the area as the Tano Bora, or Fast Five. It’s believed the group consists of one set of three brothers and a separate set of two brothers. These five male cheetahs are nearly inseparable, though they do split up to mate.

One photographer, Arnfini Johansen, was on one end of the river, while the other photographer, Buddhilin de Soyza, stood on the other, which allowed them to capture the incredible moment from different angles.

At first, just three of the cheetahs jumped into the ravaging water and began the perilous swim across. The other two cheetahs were slower to enter, but eventually dove in and followed.

Both Buddhilini and Arnfinn captured stunning photos of the cats swimming across the muddy water. Buddhilini even managed to get a picture of four of the cats, barely above water and grimacing against the current.

The cheetahs faced multiple dangers when they leapt into the river. Aside from the high current, the river is home to crocodiles – but thankfully they all made it across safely.

Swimming across such a river is dangerous for cheetahs, as the current alone can be too much for them to handle. Beyond that, they also have to worry about crocodiles. Thankfully, all of the cheetahs did safely make it across the river.

As one person commented, “It must have been a very large motivational factor to drive them to venture into the water, since they’re generally terrified of encounters with Crocodiles … I’d guess it was a shortage of food or pursuit of a mate! ijs”

We’re glad they made it! And what perfect timing that the photographers were there to capture it. Have you ever seen a cat swim?

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