Video footage was captured the moment a cheetah jumped into a car during a safari trip in Africa.
The cheetah went fully into the vehicle, prompting the passenger and driver to stay completely still and silent.
Because the people didn’t make any noise and didn’t make eye contact, it’s believed that the animal didn’t see them as a threat.
No one was injured.
The video was shared by Elisa Jaffee, whose son Britton Hayes captured the footage in Tanzania.
“We started to notice the cheetahs became curious of the vehicle,” Hayes told KOMO. “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.”
Hayes said the group was focused on another cheetah that was in front of the vehicle when the second cheetah jumped in to sniff the group to try to figure out if they were a threat.
Hayes said his guide helped him through the ordeal.
“Honestly, it was probably one of the scariest moments of my life while it was happening. 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,” said Hayes. “I wanted to be as calm and as still as possible to avoid a bad outcome.”
It’s gone viral, being viewed more than 1.7 million times since being posted just about 10 hours ago (around 3 a.m. EST).
Viewers were stunned by what took place in the video.
“Holy Moses!!!! I’m sorry, I would have hyperventilated, passed out, hit my head on the horn, and more than likely would have been mauled to death.. that’s just my luck.. LOL!! This is incredible though!! So beautiful!!” said one Facebook user.
“What genuinely surprises me about all of these type of videos is that they’re really dangerous situations people find themselves in and the initial thought is let’s get the phone out and make a video!!!! Don’t get me wrong it must be amazing to be that close to such a wonderful animal but the animal is wild and things could change for the worse any moment!” another commented.
“Cheetahs are quite timid for such large cats. If you just remain calm, the cheetah will ignore you. Some people have had cheetahs come up to them. They’re just big house cats, if it was a leopard, the result could have been different, leopards are more aggressive and territorial,” commented another.