There is something truly amazing about the innate curiosity of wild animals. They can be so much like children, eager to explore and learn about the world around them. Whether it is a new object, a person, or an animal, their sense of wonder and excitement is both adorable and awe-inspiring.
Wildlife photographer Kim Wolhuter recently captured a perfect example of this with a young female cheetah cub in Botswana. After spending six weeks filming cheetah families in the Mashtu Game Reserve, the 57-year-old photographer found himself with a curious young cheetah cub who approached him and licked his toes.
The cub’s mother and siblings were nearby, and Wolhuter’s time spent with the family allowed him to gain their trust. The female cub, being the most curious of the bunch, came in for a closer look at the photographer lying on the ground. She even went so far as to nibble on his toes, though Wolhuter quickly pulled his foot away.
Wolhuter described. the encounter as a “freaking awesome” moment that he would never forget. He also noted that the cheetah seemed gentle, though the nibble still hurt slightly.This incredible experience highlights the curious and friendly nature of cheetahs, even in the wild. As Wolhuter noted, the female cub’s curiosity went beyond his expectations and the resulting images and story are a testament to the beautyand majesty of these majestic cats.
So, the next time you are out in nature, take a moment to appreciate the wild animals around you.They may surprise you with their curiosity and friendliness, and create memories that will last a lifetime.