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Lewa's Three Brothers

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Lewa's Three Brothers

Post  Doogs on Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:58 pm

Last week the oldest of Lewa’s famous “Three Brothers” died after a series of skirmishes with a nearby pride of lions. The veterinary team tried their best to treat this elderly cheetah but after several days he finally succumbed to his wounds.

The three brothers are possibly the most famous family of cheetahs in the world. They have ruled the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy's grounds for over 13 years and were featured in a "Life" documentary narrated by David Attenborough where they were lauded for their amazing cooperation and teamwork to bring down challenging kills, such as adult ostrich and the common eland (the largest antelope in East Africa).

Because of cheetahs’ slight build, they usually hunt small grazers like gazelle and impalas. However, because of their extraordinary teamwork, the Three Brothers were able to take down far more impressive prizes. On most occasions the team would coordinate to surround their prey, then one brother would leap and land on top of the target while the other two would get underneath and topple animals three times their size. This cooperation allowed the cheetah family to eat large meals with minimal effort, leaving them to spend the rest of their time basking in the sun and posing for tourist photos. The Brothers appeared to enjoy their celebrity status, posing for pictures and relishing the attention of visitors and scientists alike.

While two brothers remain, it is unlikely that they will continue to hunt in the same manner. Their technique was reliant on the power of three and our research and veterinary teams will be keeping close watch on the remaining members of this family as they shift their hunting techniques to focus on safer prey. There is no doubt that the eldest brother will be sorely missed by everyone here at Lewa, but most of all by his hunting team who will never be the same.

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Re: Lewa's Three Brothers

Post  Laikipia on Thu Mar 10, 2011 4:04 pm

Saw that this morning from Lewa e-mail and SK twitter - such a shame, they were a magnificent trio that we were lucky enough to see in Dec 2008. Much larger and more powerful than Honey's boys, what a tragic end.

Thanks for posting Doogs.

Lai
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Re: Lewa's Three Brothers

Post  whitestarling on Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:40 pm

Thats a great shame. I remember seeing, the clip of them bringing down the Ostrich, they really were a powerful trio. You could see how powerful. by the way they walked, but sadly no match for Lions. Lets hope the two carry on OK
Thanks for letting us know Doogs
WS
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Re: Lewa's Three Brothers

Post  Laikipia on Thu May 31, 2012 9:29 am

Sad news from Lewa

The “Three Brothers”- Lewa’s Most Famous Cheetahs Take the Final Bow

May 30, 2012



This year, Lewa mourns the end of the greatest coalition to have ever existed in the Conservancy. The illustrious 13 year reign of the “Three brothers”, immortalized in documentaries, written articles, photographs, and even witness accounts, finally ended on Monday, 30th April 2012, when a surveillance officer found the carcass of the last surviving cheetah.

The “Three brothers” are quite possibly the most famous family of cheetahs in the world. Their sophisticated hunting skills, quite unusual for cheetahs, enabled them to bring down and feast on the most formidable of prey including zebras and other large animals that have the ability to overpower grown lions. Their strong union also ensured that they fought together to keep off competition and therefore venture into territories previously avoided by other cheetahs. The brothers ruled the Lewa grounds for more than a decade, and were a constant source of fascination throughout this period.

However, with the death of the eldest cheetah last year in March after a fight with a pride of lions, it was obvious that the fate of the coalition had changed forever as the power they wielded was as a result of their ability to work as a trio. Additionally, cheetahs normally live up to the age of 13; the brothers were 14 years old and consequently not as fast and agile as they were before. Therefore with the death of their sibling and as an aged duo, fighting off competition along with hunting became increasingly tough. Of special threat to them were other predators, and ironically a young team of two cheetah brothers.

Early last month, a patrol officer found the elderly cheetahs languishing in pain, with severe injuries. The brothers had been involved in a brutal encounter with the two younger cheetahs while fighting for territory. Quick action was taken and they were treated by our Vet team. One had a broken and infected hind leg that was drained of pus and treated with antibiotics. The other one, however, had extensive fractures in the back and a broken leg which eventually cost him his life.

Despite healing fully, it was clear that the remaining brother was devastated by the loss of his other sibling. His chances of survival were now minimal. Two weeks later the young cheetahs struck again, this time killing the last of the revered “Three Brothers”.

Even with the death of the super-trio, there have been new cheetah sightings within Lewa-the most recent being the two young brothers and a female with two cubs. On these beautiful hunting grounds, the new cheetahs will attempt to fill the void left by the legendary band of brothers, the greatest coalition yet.

They were a truly magnificent trio and I am so lucky to have seen all 3 of them. RIP to the last brother.

Lai
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Re: Lewa's Three Brothers

Post  Doogs on Thu May 31, 2012 1:49 pm

Many thanks for this Lai, sad news that these magnificant boys are now all gone Crying or Very sad They lived a long and great life though for wild cheetah's which is great.

You were definitely lucky to see them Lai Cool

RIP Boys Cheetah


Last edited by Doogs on Thu May 31, 2012 5:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Lewa's Three Brothers

Post  RaD on Thu May 31, 2012 4:52 pm

Sad news.

Seen a few videos of these guys hunting. Magnificent too watch.

Hopefully this will give the 2 younger brothers a chance to hold territory though, then hopefully produce more cheetah cubs and help to continue the species.


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Re: Lewa's Three Brothers

Post  littlewid on Thu May 31, 2012 6:03 pm

That is so sad, the attack sounded horrific and for the remaining cheetah brother to have to be attacked again on his own is just awful.
They were a very special trio and Lai you are so lucky to have seen them.

RaD, you are right in what you say, it does give the two brothers a chance to help keep the Cheetah going and I do wish them well, of course I do, I just hate the way animals have to end their lives sometimes.

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Re: Lewa's Three Brothers

Post  whitestarling on Thu May 31, 2012 6:15 pm

That is really tough to hear, along with Honeys Boys, we have lost two of the most magnificent Cheetah coalitions we have ever seen, it was clear the last brother would not survive on its own, once its brothers had gone. But thats the way of nature, as RaD says two new Cheetah brothers who will bring new hope to new Cubs, and a strenghening of the gene pool.
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