By Hannah Stevens @Hannahshewans

A HUNGRY hyena cheated these three cheetah brothers out of their hard-earned lunch

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Videographer / director: African Sunset Safaris
Producer: Hannah Stevens, Ellie Winstanley
Editor: Jack Stevens

Cheetahs can run up to speeds of between 110 and 120 kilometres per hour

In the Ndutu area of the Tanzanian Serengeti, the cheetah trio took down a young wildebeest after separating it from the herd.

This cheetah trio had to work tirelessly to take down a single wildebeest

Wildlife photographer Juergen Ritterbach and videographer Michael Merbeck captured the whole scene on film when they stumbled across three cheetahs resting in the high grass.

It took the group four minutes to drag the wildebeest to the ground

Juergen said: “We watched them for a while and after maybe 30 minutes they started moving and crossed a little valley.

“We followed them and then we saw what they were paying attention to. From a distance there came a herd of wildebeest and at once they took a stand.

Unluckily for them they only had a few minutes to enjoy their feast before a hyena showed up

“We could not really believe that the cheetahs would take down such big animals like wildebeests, but three brothers were strong enough to wrestle down a one-year-old calf.

“The herd became nervous and kept their distance, but suddenly the hunt started like a shot."

The group engaged in a threatening stand off before the cheetahs backed off

Darting across the savannah, the cheetahs separated a young wildebeest from the herd and leapt on its back and dragged it to the ground for the final fatal bite.

The 55-year-old photographer said: “The cheetahs chose one calf and started trying to wrestle it down. The fight took four long minutes and the wildebeest was crying a lot.

The hyena dug into their hard-earned meal straight away

“Then after it had fallen down the cheetahs immediately started to feed.

"But they got only one or two minutes with the carcass before a single hyena came and took over the kill after a short threaten attack.

All three cheetah brothers stayed nearby to watch but did not go back for more after the hyena left

“Three cheetahs are strong enough to kill a wildebeest but not to fight against one single hyena.”

Realising that their numbers would not win them this battle, the cheetahs swiftly gave up their kill and retreated to watch the hyena enjoy their prize from afar.

Another safari vehicle almost interfered when they drove up too fast to snap their own pictures

The hyena fed for a short while and left again, but the cheetahs did not return to claim the remains of their kill.

Visit Michael Merbeck’s safari company at and see more of Juegen Ritterbach’s photos at