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Watch: A cheetah jumped into a terrified tourist’s jeep during a safari

The man had to use all his will power to remain calm and avoid eye contact with the cheetah if he was to survive.

Two American men got more than they had signed up when they were joined by two cheetahs while on the Grand Ruaha Safari in Tanzania. One of them entered the jeep, while the other settled down on the hood.

This was Britton Hayes and his stepfather Peter Heistein’s first trip to Africa together. They were observing cheetahs hunting in the Gol Kopjes of Serengeti National Park, and had stopped for lunch to observe some of the wild cats taking a break.

Heistein wrote on Instagram (below), that while they were photographing the cheetahs from the road, two younger brothers broke off and came towards their jeep. “The cheetah makes use of high points such as termite mounds to scan the environment. Apparently we represented a unique scouting platform to them. Before we knew it, one jumped on the hood of the safari vehicle while the other made use of the spare tires out back to get into the rear window.”

Close Encounter Here’s a video clip from my last Safari: The video shows my stepson Britton Hayes who was on his first trip to Africa with his dad.. We had come across several cheetah who were taking a midday break. We stoped for lunch while observing them. After a time they got up and started to move in unison as we were photographing from the road. They moved diagonally across our field of view and as they neared the vehicle the two younger brothers broke off and came towards us. The cheetah makes use of high points such as termite mounds to scan the environment. Apparently we represented a unique scouting platform to them. Before we knew it, one jumped on the hood of the safari vehicle while the other made use of the spare tires out back to get into the rear window. Britt credits our experienced guide Alex Mnyangabe with helping him stay calm and asked me to film him. While Britt was frightened we never felt any threat coming from the cheetah. After a short exploration the three of them moved away to continue their hunt. An amazing experience we will never forget. My thanks to Grand Ruaha Safaris for bringing us to this unique encounter with the wild . . . #ig_shotz #worldshotz #natgeo #Grandruahasafaris #theworldshotz #splendid_animals #wildlifeonearth #wildlifeaddicts #natgeowild #natgeohub #natgeowildlife #africananimals #serengeti #exclusive_wildlife @peterheistein

A post shared by Peter Heistein (@peterheistein) on

Though terrified, the men forced themselves to remain calm and avoid eye contact with the cheetahs, so as not to startle or provoke them. Hayes, the eerily still man visible in the video above, credits their guide Alex Mnyangabe with helping him remain calm, even as the cheetah nibbled on the seat right next to him.

A longer video below also shows the other cheetah, who took a liking for the hood of the jeep instead:

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