A hunting cheetah was forced to put its lightning pace to the test when the two warthogs it was preying on opted to chase it instead.
Incredible photographs taken in Kenya’s Masai Mara nature reserve show the exact moment the unsuspecting cat was left with its tail between its legs.
The young animal was seen going after two warthogs in long grass which it presumed would make a tasty meal.
‘I should not have done that’: Racing away, the cheetah makes his escape after the two warthogs go from the hunted to the hunters
However, upon realising they were being stalked, the two wild pigs flipped – and let the cheetah know exactly what it was dealing with.
With their tails raised high in the air, the black animals ran at the spotted cat, forcing it to flee for safety.
Being capable of reaching speeds of up to 75mph proved to be life-saving for the cheetah, as it quickly raced away from the warthogs before moving on to source its dinner elsewhere.
Lunchtime: Hidden in the long grass, the cheetah first approaches its would-be prey from behind. However, all doesn’t go to plan
Spotted…and spotted: The warthogs – seconds from being attacked from behind – turn around and realise they have company
Undeterred by their sharp-toothed rival, the wild pigs decide to take a stand – and instead of being hunted, turn the tables on the cheetah
Time to go: Following a brief stand-off, the four-horned warthogs approach the cheetah, which then decides to make a getaway
Let’s see who’s fastest now: The race is on, with the 75mph cheetah darting away with the warthogs hot on its heels
Had it been caught by the warthogs, it would have been in real danger.
The heavy-set beasts have four sharp horns on their heads and are renowned fighters.
Despite their weight, they too are also fairly quick across the ground – managing to run as fast as 30mph.
Photographer Charlotte Rhodes from York captured the scene earlier this month.
Bounding across the lush Kenyan grass, the cheetah starts to create a bit of distance ahead of the heavy-set wild pigs
Speed wins again: Without looking back, the cheetah manages to escape from the warthogs, who gave up their chase
Looking sheepish, the hungry young cheetah is left looking elsewhere after failing in its attempt to snare the two warthogs