Once in awhile I post something that does not have anything to do with fish or fishing or even Nebraska. This is one of those times. However, it is about a wild creature and I found this video to be totally amazing. Click on the video, take 7 minutes to watch it, make sure to view it “full-screen”!
I know that other than the Henry Doorly Zoo, http://www.omahazoo.com/ , there are no cheetahs in Nebraska. I do not care. I love the wild cats, OK, I guess I have to admit I love cats, but particularly the wild cats. I count my encounters with bobcats in the wilds of Nebraska to be among my greatest achievements of my time spent on the water, in the field and in the “woods”. I can remember 5 such encounters and tell you exactly where every one of them occurred–one or two are perhaps good stories for another blog post on another day.
Other than zoos, my only knowledge of cheetahs is what I have read about and watched on some nature show on TV. You probably know that cheetahs are the fastest animals on dry ground, faster even than our pronghorns. I love watching nature shows that show a cheetah chasing some poor little gazelle on the plains of Africa. The speed, athleticism, and will-to-survive of those creatures brings a sense of awe over me. By the way, I am talking about the big bad predators, the cheetahs, not the “poor little” gazelles. Those of you who know me know that I am more than a little bit warped; when I see a predator in pursuit of some prey I do not “cheer” for the poor little rabbit or gazelle to get away–I am “cheering” for the predators. The cheetah has to survive too!
If you take seven minutes to watch the video above, you can see what I am talking about–what an amazing animal, what a creature uniquely and completely adapted to be successful in its environment, in its place in the food chain. Wow, watch the strides, the muscles, the claws. But, you know what amazed me the most while watching that video? Watch the cheetah’s head–it does not move! Baseball outfielders and wide receivers talk about running at full speed without their heads moving or bouncing so they can track the ball. Humans can only dream of running as fast as a cheetah and on top of that the cheetah does it without its head bouncing or bobbing one bit. I am betting you could velcro a glass of water to the top of that cheetah’s head and at full speed it would not spill a drop. Unbelievable. Also look at the focus, concentration, the eyes on the prey, they never move or blink. To use a baseball analogy again, I am betting that cheetah could hit a fast ball!
After you watch the slow motion footage in the video, make sure to watch to the very end. It is amazing all the technology and logistics employed to “get the shot” and you should appreciate that too, it is not surprising that it took someone like National Geographic to do that, http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2012/11/20/beauty-of-the-beast/?source=email_inside&utm_source=NatGeocom&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=inside_20121127&utm_campaign=Content . They even water down the “track”. In the end, notice how fast that cheetah was running in real speed, real time. Again, simply amazing!
Take some time to study and learn about the wild creatures around us, some of them we will pursue as hunters, anglers and trappers–we are part of the food chain too, and the more we understand our quarry the more successful we will be. But, more than that, much more than that, the more you learn, the more appreciation and RESPECT you will have for those creatures in particular, and for our natural resources in general.
By the way, if you love wild cats as much as I do, this coming week is “Big Cat Week” on the National Geographic Channel.
You know what I will be watching! (Well, that and Duck Dynasty, http://www.aetv.com/duck-dynasty/ , Ha)