Photographer snaps magical photos of playful cheetah cubs

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A Wimbledon-based photographer was overwhelmed when he managed to photograph 10 cheetah cubs all in one morning.

Paul Goldstein lucked out when he spotted a couple of cheetah families while leading a tour in Kenya's Masai Mara this month.

It was especially unusual as as the animals are on the endangered species list meaning that sadly they are increasingly rare.

Cheetahs have suffered terribly from human encroachment, poaching and also competition from other predators, such as hyenas.

The Exodus tour guide, who is also an award-winning photographer, said he'd never experienced anything like it before.

"I never had a morning like it. We managed to spot not one but two families of cheetahs. Ten cubs, all below six weeks before 10am."

The first family required Paul to be up at the early hours and involved a 4.30am start, a long drive and then some binocular work.

"It was a joy to spend a few hours with this family, she is a mother I know well and she has lost her last two litters. She was not remotely bothered by us and has more important things to worry about, at one point she walked her whole family straight past our Landcruiser."

Later on the group spotted another den, this time with four cubs about three weeks old. Paul revealed that many of the people on the tour were crying and some even said it was the best day of their lives.

"Days like this are worked for, they do not arrive by accident, but watching my guests, many who were tearful, was hugely rewarding. 'This was the best day of my life' a couple of them said' - this is not too much of a surprise as there can only be a handful of people who have seen this ever."

Take a look at all the incredible pictures below.

(Images: Rex Features)


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