Perfect somersault: Cheetah catches a gazelle in the air in impressive moment

These incredible photographs show the moment a remarkably acrobatic cheetah performs a somersault to catch a fleeing impala during a vicious dust-up.

Jeffrey Wu, a professional photographer from Toronto, Canada, captured the airborne fight between predator and prey just seconds before the impala was caught by the large cat in the Masai Mara National Reserve, in Kenya.

His captivating image sequence shows the cheetah tightly holding onto the impala as it leaps through the air – dragging the fierce feline with it.

Jeffrey, 53, who took the images on February 22, said: ‘The cheetah in these photos is called Imani and after watching her fail at her first target, she spotted this young impala run towards her.

‘Imani jumped in the air and did a perfect somersault by stretching and flipping her body completely.
‘Her paws then reached out, grabbing the back of the impala’s left leg before pulling the impala down to the ground.’
Head over heels! This is the moment an impala is caught by a hungry cheetah as it leaps through the air – dragging the fierce feline with it when in the Masai Mara National Reserve, in Kenya
Keeping her on her toes! The cheetah loses its grip on the impala and performs a summersault as the terrified animal trys to get away
Not giving up: The large cat stretches her body and tries to once again reach for her running prey on February 22, having already lost her first target of the day
No chance! Having performed a perfect somersault through the air, the cheetah manages to grab hold of the impala again, leaving it with little chance of escape
Oh deer! Not wanting her dinner to flee, the cheetah firmly grasps onto the terror-stricken impala as it jumps through the air
At the start of the dust-up, the impala leaps up to try and get away from the predator and the cheetah jumps to meet it