An African Safari is a dream event for many, but not when a pack of cheetahs tries to commandeer your vehicle.
The group was in the Gol Kopjes region of the Serengeti when three cheetahs pounced on the vehicle, and one of them went in for a better look. KOMO NewsRadio anchor Elisa Jaffe’s son Britton Hayes was a part of the group when the cheetahs made their move.
“We started to notice the cheetahs became curious of the vehicle. But it was too late to drive quickly away or anything like that because you don’t want to startle the animals, because that’s when things usually go wrong.”
“This is not at all a common occurrence,” he added, but assured they were ready for the event.
Hayes said his group was distracted by a separate cheetah that had jumped on the hood of their SUV, when the other cheetah hopped in the back seat.
“One of the cheetahs hopped onto the hood and was sniffing around, so we were all focused on the cheetah on the hood that was looking around. While we were all watching the cheetah in the front, one of the brothers had flanked around the back and hopped in back of the vehicle to try and sniff us and make sure that we weren’t a threat.”
Hayes thanked his guide for helping him through the whole exchange.
“Alex (my guide) kept me calm and made sure I never made eye contact nor startled the cheetah,” Hayes said, “allowing the animal to see that it could trust us.”
Hayes shared that his guide showed him how to react and also helped him slow his breathing to keep the cheetah at ease until it was done exploring.
“Honestly, it was probably one of the scariest moments of my life while it was happening. I felt like I had to clear my mind of any thoughts because from everything you’re told about predators like that, they can sense fear and any sort of discomfort you’re feeling and they’ll react accordingly. I wanted to be as calm and as still as possible to avoid a bad outcome.”
This video, taken by Peter Heistein, can teach us all how to react if we are ever in this situation. As for me, I’m good with never going to the Safari, that’s what movies are for.
[via KOMO News]