26-03-2021 by Freddie del Curatolo
They call them "Tano Bora", the fantastic five.
They are not superheroes, except because they are champions of resilience in a world that is increasingly difficult to preserve, the savannah of Sub-Saharan Africa.
They are five marvellous specimens of cheetah.
If not exactly brothers, they certainly come from the same family, born and raised in the boundless Maasai Mara reserve.
The Tano Bora are almost always together: they live, hunt, understand and help each other.
Our expert Mara photographer Paolo Torchio has captured them several times with his lens, and the Kenyan media have also learned about them.
They are unmistakable because they are well placed, healthy and develop group tactics, a team game for survival that becomes a cruel but true, as well as necessary, spectacle for wildlife and wild Africa enthusiasts. According to reliable guides, they could be between seven and nine years old, as they have already been spotted together hunting in 2015, without their parents.
The five cheetahs are unique, bold and energetic. They can take down prey 10 times the size of any one of them, making them the most successful and famous coalition in the Masai Mara Game Reserve and now celebrated worldwide, including through documentaries and magazine articles.
It was the Maasai guides who nicknamed them "Tano Bora"; it is their peculiarity to go around together, to be inseparable because this harmony allows them not to miss a target.
Other felines, such as the leopards, are mostly solitary hunters. But these 'musketeer' cheetahs, also known as the five brothers, have teamed up to hunt huge prey that they could not otherwise hunt successfully.
Their favourite food is large wildebeest, eland and zebra, while their less organised or more 'bear-like' colleagues make do with gazelles and antelopes. This is why they are more plump and well-fed.
Cheetahs usually hunt between the protected part of the park and in the savannah in reserves managed by local communities.
While females lead a nomadic life searching for prey in even distant locations, males are more sedentary and can instead confine themselves to much smaller territories in areas where they know the habits of their prey. The cheetah is the fastest animal on the planet, capable of running from 80 to 128 km/h, with the average speed over long distances recorded at 93 to 98 km/h. Their speed is the result of their light bones combined with long, thin legs and a long tail.
According to some experts who have been following the 'Tano Bora' for days, they are a unique team made up of two 'biological' brothers and three other 'cousins', but obviously this cannot be proven.
What is certain is that they are unique and those lucky enough to follow and admire them in the Maasai Mara will have experienced something truly fantastic.
The cheetahs, moreover, are famous for their familiarity with tourists and off-road vehicles, on which they often and willingly climb as if to play or challenge the men, of whom they have no fear and for this reason do not inspire hostility in them.
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