People go to this one area of the Serengeti to see cheetahs – but a safari tourist came closer than he wanted.
The video shows a cheetah perched in the safari vehicle behind the shoulder of Britton Hayes. The Seattle man follows the guide's instructions to stay still and not have eye contact.
"That's strange," you hear him mumble as the big cat kisses the headrest in the next row.
The encounter occurred earlier during Hayes' visit to Gol Kopjes, an area of the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania known for its high cheetah population.
The vehicle of Grand Ruaha Safari had stopped, allowing its occupants to observe three young cheetahs. One of these animals jumped on the hood of the car, apparently to get a better spy position for the game. As the people inside watched the cheetah, another climbed into the back seat through the open side of the vehicle.
"Honestly, it was probably one of the scariest moments of my life," Hayes later told Seattle's KOMO TV ̵
Hayes decided not to tell her about the incident until he returned, worried that she would "go wild" and tell him to come home.
Cheetahs weigh 80 to 140 pounds like adults. Most attacks on humans are in protected areas, zoos or other situations where the cheetahs live in enclosures.
The video was shot by Peter Heistein.