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Cheetah Jumps Into Safari Car Forcing Man to Freeze in Place For 10 Minutes

Wild Cheetah. Credit: CBS News, YouTube.

An ordinary safari ride took an exhilarating turn when a curious cheetah decided to get up close and personal with a stunned American tourist.

Here, we discuss the encounter. Read to the end to watch the video!

The Unexpected Visitor

cheetah introduces cubs
Image by Piet Bakker via Pexels

While safaris are known for their close encounters with wildlife, no one expects a cheetah to jump into their vehicle. But that’s precisely what happened. As the vehicle cruised through the Tanzanian plains, a cheetah, perhaps curious or simply seeking a vantage point, decided to hop in. 

Frozen in Time

Wild Cheetah. Credit: CBS News, YouTube.

The tourist’s reaction? He turned into a statue. He was advised to remain by the game ranger, who clearly knew what he was talking about. Any sudden movement could be perceived as a threat, leading to a potentially dangerous reaction from the animal.

The Cheetah’s Perspective

cheetah in Masai Mara national reserve. Cheetah Image via Depositphotos.

From the cheetah’s point of view, the safari vehicle seemed like an intriguing object to explore. These fast and agile creatures are known for their curiosity. With its elevated structure, the car could have been an attractive spot for the cheetah to view its surroundings or perhaps scout for potential prey. 

Fun Facts to Pounce On

Cheetah male walking and looking for prey. Cheetah Image via Depositphotos.
  • Speedsters of the Animal Kingdom: Cheetahs are the fastest land animals, capable of reaching speeds up to 60-70 mph in short bursts covering distances up to 1,500 ft.
  • Unique Among Big Cats: Unlike other big cats, cheetahs cannot roar. Instead, they purr, hiss, chirp, and even spit when threatened.
  • Built for the Chase: Cheetahs have large nasal passages that lead to large lungs, ensuring fast oxygen delivery during high-speed chases. Their non-retractable claws provide them with a better grip at high speeds.

Lessons from the Encounter

Male cheetah sitting in grass and looking for its pray in Masai Mara, Kenya. Cheetah Image via Depositphotos.

While this story had a peaceful ending, it reminds us of animals’ wild and unpredictable nature. Safaris offer a unique opportunity to witness wildlife in their natural habitat, but it’s important to remember that these are wild creatures with instincts and behaviors that can be unpredictable. Always follow safety guidelines, listen to your guides, and respect the animals and their environment. Oh, and never leave your vehicle.

The Fastest Land Animal

Cheetah Invades Safari Vehicle
Cheetah, the fastest land animal. Image via Depositphotos

Cheetahs hold the title of the fastest land animal, capable of reaching speeds up to 60-70 miles per hour. Their acceleration is unmatched, allowing them to go from 0 to 60 mph in just a few seconds.

Unique Physiology

A pair of cheetahs move steathily through the long grass of the Masai Mara in search of prey. Selective focus on front animal. Cheetah Image via Depositphotos.

Cheetahs have several physical adaptations that contribute to their speed, including long, slender bodies, large nasal passages for increased oxygen intake, and powerful leg muscles. Their spine acts like a spring, providing exceptional flexibility and stride length during sprints.

Distinctive Spots

Young adult cheeteh in the Masai Mara. Spacefor your text. Cheetah Image via Depositphotos.

Each cheetah has a unique pattern of spots, much like human fingerprints. These spots provide excellent camouflage in their natural habitat, helping them blend into the grassy savannas and forests where they hunt.

Non-Retractable Claws

Cheetah on the hunt
Cheetah on the hunt in full speed. Image via Ray in Manila, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Unlike other big cats, cheetahs have non-retractable claws, similar to those of dogs. This provides extra grip and traction during high-speed chases.

Specialized Hunting Technique

Cheetah legs
A cheetah’s legs are longer and leaner than those of other cats. Image via Bernard DUPONT from FRANCE, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Cheetahs rely on their keen eyesight to spot prey from a distance. They typically hunt during the day, using their speed and stealth to get close before launching a rapid sprint to catch their target.

Exceptional Eyesight

cheetah cub
Image via Depositphotos

Cheetahs have excellent vision, particularly in daylight. Their eyes are adapted to spot prey from up to 5 kilometers away. Dark tear marks below their eyes help reduce glare from the sun and enhance their focus.


Cheetah cub walks through grass on savannah
Image via Depositphotos

Cheetahs communicate using a variety of sounds, including chirps, purrs, and growls. They do not roar like other big cats but instead use these unique vocalizations to interact with each other.

Solitary and Social Behavior

Cheetah running at full speed in South Africa (Acinonyx jubatus)

While female cheetahs are generally solitary, male cheetahs often live in small groups called coalitions, typically consisting of brothers from the same litter. These coalitions work together to defend territory and hunt.

Short Burst of Speed

Slow pan of cheetah sprinting through grass. Depositphotos

Cheetahs can only maintain their top speed for short distances, usually around 20-30 seconds. If they do not catch their prey quickly, they must rest and recover due to the high energy expenditure.

Conservation Status

Slow pan of female cheetah among bushes. Cheetah Image, Via Unsplash.

Cheetahs are listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict, and poaching are significant threats to their population.

Cubs and Maternal Care

A cheetah walks between grass and bushes in the savannah of Kenya. Cheetah Image, Via Unsplash.

Female cheetahs give birth to litters of up to six cubs, which they raise alone. Cubs are born with a mantle of long, grayish fur on their backs, providing extra camouflage and protection from predators.


Slow pan of cheetah walking across grassland. Cheetah Image, Via Unsplash.

In the wild, cheetahs typically live around 10-12 years, although some can live longer in captivity. Their lifespan is often shorter in the wild due to threats from predators and humans.

Habitat Range

Cheetah Image, Via Unsplash.

Cheetahs are found primarily in sub-Saharan Africa, with small populations in Iran. They prefer open landscapes such as savannas, grasslands, and deserts where they can use their speed to hunt.

Endurance and Stamina

Cheetah Image, Via Unsplash.

While cheetahs are known for their incredible speed, they lack the endurance of other big cats. After a sprint, they need to rest and cool down to avoid overheating, which can be a challenge in their hot habitats.

Importance of Conservation

Horizontal shot of cheetah chase sprinting after a small baby antelope with a termite mound in background in Masai Mara Kenya

Efforts to conserve cheetah populations include habitat preservation, reducing human-wildlife conflict, and breeding programs in captivity. Educating the public about the importance of cheetahs to the ecosystem is crucial for their survival.

Cheetahs are a remarkable species with unique adaptations that make them one of the most fascinating animals on the planet. Understanding and appreciating these incredible creatures can help ensure their survival for future generations.

Watch the Video on our website

Cheetah Image, Via Unsplash.

The experience of having a cheetah jump into a safari vehicle is undoubtedly a once-in-a-lifetime event. It’s a story that the tourist will likely share for years to come, highlighting nature’s raw and untamed beauty.

Thank you for following along with this article – 

YouTube video
“Tourist Turns Into Statue as Cheetah Invades Safari Vehicle,” Source: YouTube, Uploaded: Inside Edition

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Thursday 10th of August 2023

Look at the size of those claws....and those eyes look serious!

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