Meal theft is a hardship cheetahs know a lot about: in some parts of Africa, more than 12% of their kills are commandeered by rival carnivores. In this case, those rival carnivores came in the mottled, loudly twittering form of a pack of wild dogs. 

Safari-goer Grant Fendick encountered this trio of spotted felines in South Africa's Pilanesberg Game Reserve, just after the cats had killed a wildebeest. But rather than tucking into their hard-earned meal, the cheetahs backed off. 

"They seemed very skittish and nervous," Fendick told Latest Sightings, who shared the clip on their YouTube channel. "They had obviously sensed something was out of place."

And sure enough, a pack of wild dogs soon emerged from the nearby brush, and began moving in on the carcass. Fendick has been visiting these wild spaces for 15 years, but this was his first wild dog sighting. 

The area around a kill can be a tense space, with shifting interactions that can quickly turn aggressive, so it's always best to observe from a safe distance. For Fendick, the unfolding action was overwhelming to watch. 

"It was incredible to witness such an event," he recalls. "The power of the wild dogs taunting the cheetahs and the noises that the dogs were making were so overpowering and haunting – everything was spine-chilling."

These distinctively mottled canids are among Africa's most successful predators, so seeing them take on a scavenging role is rare. Sightings like this one are definitely unusual, but they're not unheard of. In the African bush, however, you don't always get to keep what you've stolen. Wild dog packs are often raided by bigger, hardier animals like hyenas. 

In the end, though, the lucky dogs made off with free dinner. Cheetahs, however, don't always lose out: