"Allo-mothering" - Cheetah behaviours changing?
We live in an amazing world. The importance of observing animals and developing an understanding of their behaviours is critical both to appreciate how they interact, but also when possible changes can indicate new developments.
Allo-mothering is a behaviour that you can see in some predators, and other species. Elephants and Lions are a great example of this behaviour. In Elephants the matriarchal behaviours where other females look after the offspring of members of their herd are well documented. In Lions we see a similar approach where the females of a pride will "auntie" other female's cubs.
But, it is not something that is typically seen or has been capture on film with Cheetahs. The Cheetah mother is well known for living an independent life bringing up their cubs. Threats to them can be seen from not only other predators, but also from previous off-spring. I recall a situation at AfriCat where they were faced with the situation of having to relocate a Cheetah mother and her three cubs due to threats from a previous seasons cub who had already killed one of the new cubs.
So I find it really interesting when a report comes out from one of the reserves, where they regularly observe the animals behaviours that “Allo-mothering” has been observed at such a level.
Here is the link to the article they posted: