By Daily Mail Reporter
UPDATED:10:13 GMT, 10 June 2011
The fur is literally flying in this extraordinary set of photos when a fight erupts among a group of cheetahs.
One of the cats leaps four feet in the air during the remarkable confrontation between two males.
The bruising encounter was a harsh lesson for the younger cheetah, who had been challenged by the older male.
Jump around: The bruising encounter was a harsh lesson for the younger cheetah, challenged by the older male
High jump: One of the cats leaps 4ft in the air during the dramatic confrontation between two males
The youngster was given a rough ride as its mother stood back with his sister – a sign that she wanted her son to take care of himself.
British photographer Elliott Neep captured the moments the family of three were approached by the cheetah, in Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area, in Tanzania.
Elliott, 36, from Wantage, in Oxfordshire, said: ‘We spotted three cheetahs resting in the shade.
‘They were not settled and seemed very agitated. Their body language told me that something was wrong.
‘Then, in the shade of a nearby tree just a few feet away, we could see a fourth cheetah.
‘We tried to figure out what was happening but it was not clear. A young cheetah rose from the ground and immediately, the cheetah under the tree pounced and lashed out at him.
‘The youngster flipped onto its back in a state of submission and the big male leapt over.
‘As soon as the big male moved, I started firing the shutter. I just had a sudden instinct that a fight was imminent.
Take that: The encounter unfolds, including the high-jumping cheetah leaping in the air
‘The situation quickly unravelled and the scene became clear. This was an adult male attempting to push out a female’s full-grown cubs to mate.
‘After the dust settled, the big male came face to face with the youngster and began sounding a long drawn-out meow.
‘It was similar to the sound two domestic cats make when they have a territorial dispute in the garden.
‘The young male began to chirp to its mother for support. But she did not intervene – for me, a clear sign that she had finished raising them and it was time for them to leave.’ He added: ‘We left with the four cheetahs still grouped together, but exhausted and tired under the midday sun.
‘The sequence looked great on the camera and had a massive grin on my face.
‘When I reviewed it later on the big screen, the grin was even wider as I could now see the fur literally flying when the cheetah was in mid-air.’
Fur flying: The youngster was given a rough ride as its mother stood back with his sister – a sign that she wanted her son to take care of himself