GOL COPJES OF SERENGETI, Tanzania – A Seattle man survived a close encounter after a cheetah jumped into his vehicle during an African safari – and it was caught on tape.
KOMO reports that Britton Hayes was with a group in the Gol Kopjes of the Serengeti watching three cheetahs on the hunt as one of them got closer.
The cheetah got into the Land Cruiser because there were no doors on it.
"We noticed that the cheetahs became curious about the vehicle," Hayes told the station. "But it was too late to drive away, or anything like that, because you do not want to scare the animals, because then things usually go awry."
One of the cheetahs was sitting in the back seat. The group was watching another cheetah approaching the hood of the vehicle.
Apart from a few bite and claw marks on the seat, the men escaped unhurt.
Hayes said this was not common, but prepared for leaders
"Alex (the leader) kept calm and made sure I never got in sight or scared the cheetah," Hayes said. "Allow the animal to see that it can trust us."
The guide made Hayes breathe slowly to calm the cheetah.
"Honestly, it was probably one of the scariest moments of my life as long as it happened," Hayes said.
"I felt that I had to worry about thoughts, because anything you say about such predators can make you feel anxiety and any kind of discomfort and they will respond accordingly.
" I wanted be as calm and as quiet as possible to avoid a bad outcome. "
Hayes added," Now he feels like he can handle anything and the experience made him feel alive. "