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Posted by on Dec 8, 2009 in Greg, Outdoors, Photography | 9 comments

Cheetah: “Alright Mr. DeMille, I am ready for my close-up”

As if she was channelling Gloria Swanson, this gorgeous cheetah posed laying down and looking over her shoulder for me at the Aquila Safari Lodge yesterday. But, just as Ms. Swanson did to Cecil B. DeMille, she made me wait until she was good and ready to do so.

Cheetah Close-Up (c) Greg Pillhofer, 2009

Have a look at the iconic Swanson portrait that appeared in Vanity Fair back in 1924 and tell me I’m wrong.

The cheetah is the first part of the Lodges’ cheetah breeding programme, and will soon be joined by others at the Reserve as they attempt to start a breeding programme for these magnificent creatures.

The reserve also houses a small group of lions rescued from canned hunting practices, and these are presently in rehabilitation, together with a leopard that is also being rehabilitated.


  1. Wow, what soulful eyes. Brilliant shot! Make me a wallpaper of it please!

    • Will do with pleasure VS. Any specific dimensions you want, and wide-screen or standard aspect?

      Thanks for the comment 🙂

  2. I second that! Great picture. Thats one cool cat there.

    • It was a real show off cat this one Jo. Posed for me, turned away, looked back again, and then actually started purring! Loving the attention. Amazing animal up close like that.

  3. I also would like to have it as wallpaper. It is a very beautiful picture. I to like it very much.

  4. Thanks for the comment Sanjay. Will sort something out for you re. wallpaper when I am back at BlaBla Base Camp next week.

  5. A cheetah purring? Wow!

    Nice one.

  6. Wow fantastic photo is there any chance I could draw this sometime pretty please. Am also desperate for a photo of cheetah’s back with the side of its face showing as if we are looking over its shoulder/ back for a piece I want to do for an art competition. Any help would be gratefully received!

    • Hi there Caroline
      Thanks for the compliment regarding the photo. She was a natural poser indeed.

      You’re more than welcome to use the photo as the basic for a drawing, but I would like clear credit and a link back to this page if you publish your drawing anywhere please. Also note that this allowance would only be for non-commercial use. Any commercial application and we need to talk in a lot more detail. 🙂

      I may have another shot or two of the cheetah stashed away in a file folder somewhere. I’m not certain if they include one of the view that you’re looking for, but I will check and let you know soonest.

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