Britton Hayes was with a tour group out on a safari when a group of three cheetahs took an interest in their vehicle. One of the cheetahs leaped onto the hood of their jeep, capturing the attention of the tourists. Then, a second cheetah decided he wanted to explore the vehicle, jumping into the back seat.
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The incident happened in Tanzania. The tour group was exploring Serengeti National Park when they encountered the cheetahs.
“We started to notice the cheetahs became curious of the vehicle,” said Hayes, according to a report by the Daily Mail. “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.”
In the video, Hayes can be seen remaining oddly still while the cheetah in the back seat of the jeep gets unnervingly close to him.
The cheetah sniffs around and even chews one of the seats before hopping out of the jeep.
Hayes, who hails from Seattle, Washington, credited a tour guide for helping him keep calm, demonstrating how Hayes could slow his breathing, ensuring the cheetah felt at east during the encounter.
“Honestly, it was probably one of the scariest moments of my life while it was happening,” said Hayes.
“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,” he added.
After the cheetah exited the jeep, Hayes said the tour group just stared at one another for about 10 seconds before everyone could relax again.
Hayes admits that the group laughed about the encounter some hours later, and were all relieved that nothing went wrong.