In 2013, wildlife photographer Alison Buttigieg took a series of pensive photographs that shows cheetahs devouring an impala while the impala stands unusually calm. Four years later, the photographs go viral along with a heart-breaking story.
The 2017 back-story to the photographs described how the impala was with her two calves when the cheetahs approached and in order to save her calves, she sacrificed her own life and let herself be caught. The story went viral as people lauded the self-sacrifice of the mother impala.
Later, Buttigieg clarified the back-story. She described that 2 cheetah cubs were learning how to hunt, and later on the mother cheetah came to help the cubs.
In a Facebook post, Buttigieg said “I witnessed this Cheetah kill in September 2013 in the Maasai Mara, Kenya. Narasha, the cheetah mom, was teaching her youngsters how to kill prey. However they were a bit slow on the uptake and they instead were playing with the hapless impala prey instead of killing it.”
“What is out of the ordinary in this sequence of photos is how calm the impala is throughout its ordeal. It is probably in shock and thus paralyzed with fear,” she added.