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Captive bred male Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus).
Moja is part of an international breeding program helping this species with genetic diversity. Habitat loss...
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Captive bred male Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus).
Moja is part of an international breeding program helping this species with genetic diversity. Habitat loss and a narrow genetic gene pool has not helped this feline. As Head Keeper at a wildlife park I was honored to work with this species for many years and enjoyed the company of Moja and his brothers in their large natural enclosure. These boys were raised by their mother and I had the pleasure of having a unique relationship with them. During my late afternoon visits to their enclosure they would follow me around, lay beside me in the afternoon sun and whilst walking within their enclosure I would often startle a rabbit or two for them to chase. I had the honor of capturing this photograph of Moja as he lay waiting for his afternoons entertainment!
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Lucky 3 Award
Contest Finalist in Endangered Species Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Wildlife Photo Contest 2017
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9 Comments | Report
AnnieMF
 
AnnieMF March 02, 2017
Ready for action....stunning
shivashankar_6521
 
shivashankar_6521 April 07, 2017
Great shot ????
ChasingShadows PRO+
 
ChasingShadows May 25, 2017
Superb capture!
FriezeFrameFotos PRO+
 
FriezeFrameFotos May 25, 2017
Love this! Such a story he is telling as his eyes cut toward the prey! Stalking dinner!
Canonview
 
Canonview September 13, 2017
Woah!
swank_ZA
 
swank_ZA October 13, 2017
Absolutely amazing shot, well done!
Cortez48 PRO+
 
Cortez48 March 11, 2018
Awesome!!
MKPhotographysa PRO+
 
MKPhotographysa September 13, 2018
Stunning shot
BabZz
 
BabZz September 16, 2018
Stunning

Behind The Lens

Location
The photo was captured at Orana Wildlife Park, Christchurch New Zealand. Orana is an open range wildlife park with a number of Exotic and Native species dedicated to conservation, education and recreation. This male is part of an international breeding programme to save genetic diversity in a population of a very unique species of feline.
Time
Mid-morning light on a hot summer day.
Lighting
I often spent time with Moja and his brothers in the early morning giving me the long shadows but for this shot, the sun was a little higher giving me more even light across the face and body.
Equipment
Nikon D70S, Sigma APO 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM mounted to Manfrotto monopod. The old camera I kept in my bag for dirty work when I was in and around the cats, Cheetah is a naturally curious animal and if the equipment is left alone for too long accidents will happen!
Inspiration
My inspiration was to capture the look of the eyes from a low angle.
Editing
Very little adjustments to the colour and brought the black point forward show the markings in his coat.
In my camera bag
I'm very hard on my gear due to the nature of my work and still like using the D200 with the Sigma 50-500mm lens when out in the field. This combo sits on the seat beside me attached to a monopod. I also carry a D90 with a collection of lenses from a 50mm, 12-24mm and a 300mm.
Feedback
Animal behaviour is what I like to observe and with doing this you will learn patience, all good things will come to those who wait. Working with wildlife can be a very rewarding and frustrating pursuit at times.

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