YOU have the eyes of a hawk if you can spot the sneaky cheetah perfectly camouflaged as it stalks its prey in this image.
The big cat managed to expertly disguise itself among the plains of the Masai Mara in Kenya in pursuit of three unsuspecting gazelles.
The incredible image shows the trio of Thomson Gazelles looking somewhat tense in the deserted grassland.
And they later discovered their anxiety was justified – as a cunning cheetah was lying in wait just metres away.
Wildlife photographer Richard Costin, 40, captured the extraordinary animal ambush on camera after tracking the big cat for several days.
He had shadowed the speedy predator in hopes of observing its hunting techniques.
So, can you spot where the cheetah is lying in wait for its lunch?
To the right of the huddle of gazelles, the big cat can be seen jutting out from the tall blades of grass.
It provided the perfect scope point for the cheetah to pause and plan its savage attack.
Richard explained: “The cheetah stopped in its tracks and looked intently into the distance. Experience had taught us what this meant.
“It had spotted some potentially vulnerable prey, gazelles in some longer grass than they ought to be.
“Although cheetahs have amazing acceleration, gazelles can run for longer so if the cheetah can’t get close before it charges it can be outrun.
“Luckily, the gazelles had wandered into some long grass so it took about five minutes to stalk its way up to them before pouncing.”
Other extraordinary images show the gazelles desperately running for their lives after the cheetah unveiled its position.
But after an exhausting chase and less than an hour’s eating, the fast and ferocious predator was chased away from its kill by a hyaena.
Richard, who takes photography workshops to the Masai Mara, added: “We had seen it stalk and hunt unsuccessfully a couple of times, but this time it killed one of the gazelles.
“Cheetahs often have to eat as quickly after a kill as they can as you can see, once word gets around there is a kill, something stronger turns up – in this case a hyaena.
“In fact, cheetahs are actually quite weak and even a few vultures are normally enough to drive it from its kill.
“This is why it dragged the carcass into longer grass before eating.”
The cheetah is the fastest animal on the planet being able to accelerate from 0 to 62mph (100km/h) in just three seconds.
Its top speed is 70-75mph (112-120km/h) but it can only run in short bursts of up to 500m (1600 feet).
We previously challenged readers to spot the family of four cheetahs slinking across a rocky plain while perfectly camouflaged.
The majestic mammals were barely visible in the image taken in Botswana’s Mashatu Game Reserve in late July this year.
And why not test your eagle eyes with this image of a snow leopard hiding in the mountains.
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