A tour group traveling on an African safari got more up-close to nature than expected when a cheetah decided to jump into their car and have a peek around.
Britton Hayes was taking part in a Grand Ruaha Safari through Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park with fellow travelers when a cheetah jumped on the hood of their Land Rover SUV and another cheetah jumped into the car’s back seat, according to Komo News.
“We started to notice the cheetahs became curious of the vehicle; but it was too late to drive away or anything like that because you don’t want to startle the animals, because that’s when things usually go wrong,” Hayes told the publication, adding that, though occurrence was anything but common, the travelers were thankfully prepared for the occasion.
In footage shared of the incident, the curious cheetah can be seen grabbing onto the passenger’s seat of the car and having a look around before getting comfortable in the vehicle’s backseat.
The cheetah spent 10 minutes roaming around in the car before deciding to head back out in search of food, according to the BBC, making for an adrenaline-pumped experience.
The Seattle local thanked his tour guide for helping to keep him calm during the incident, mentioning that the guide told him to avoid making eye contact or any sudden movements to establish a sense of trust while the animal was in the car.
“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,” Hayes told Komo News.
Though the experience was one of the “scariest moments” in his life, it was also exhilarating.
“I was scared to death, but I’ve never felt more alive,” Hayes told the publication of the encounter.