By Saloni Mathur


THE CUTEST images show the preemie baby cheetah Rafiki standing on his hind legs in pure joy after vets cleared him from a life-threatening infection.

Photographed by a wildlife photographer at Cheetah Experience Sanctuary, South Africa, Rafiki is a four-month-old, spirited male cheetah cub who was born prematurely in February.

Rafiki became the sanctuary’s first cub born prematurely to fight through the early, precarious stages of life and survive.

For the first two months, he experienced a battle for survival, teetering on the brink of life and death.

Despite the daunting odds, Rafiki overcame a severe infection that landed him in critical care.

These adorable images were taken by wildlife photographer Simon Needham.

ā€œThis little guy was adorable, and I spent about an hour with him playing and taking pictures,ā€ he said.

ā€œHe stands as a testament to resilience, vibrantly healthy and robust after conquering his early-life adversities.

ā€œIt was a pleasure to be in the presence of this cheeky little cheetah.

ā€œIt was the first time I was so close to such a young cheetah.ā€