Cheetah’s Shocking Encounter: Tourist’s Close Call with Wild Cat during African Safari

A daring cheetah caught a tourist off guard during a safari at Kenya’s Masai Mara game reserve. The powerful predator, equipped with razor-sharp claws and teeth, is not the cat you would want snuggling up to you.

However, the fearless feline leaped into the backseat of a jeep cruising through the African savanna, leaving Irish vacationer Mickey McCaldin stunned. The cheetah slowly approached McCaldin, coming within a foot of his face.

David Horsey, a 62-year-old family friend from Mombasa, Kenya, captured the intense encounter between McCaldin and the cheetah. He said, “I’ve lived in Kenya all my life and never seen anything like this. The cheetah just wasn’t scared of getting up close and personal.”


Watch the video at the end.

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A curious wild cat got up close and personal with a holidaymaker on safari in Kenya when the animal jumped into the back seat of a jeep. Source: Daily Mail
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At first, the cheetah simply looked at Irish tourist Mickey McCaldin curiously, but then it moved closer as if to curl up on his lap. Source: Daily Mail

McCaldin initially remained calm, but he grew concerned as the wild cat seemed to consider sitting in his lap.

Horsey noted that a domestic cat might be welcome, but a cheetah is an entirely different story.


The cheetah had followed the safari group for several days without securing a meal. Horsey explained, “The family had been looking for a gazelle for a few days with no luck.

They were used to the jeep as we’d been around for a few days, so the mum jumped on top for a better view.”

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At one point, the large cat was so close to Mickey that it was only about a foot away from his face. Source: Daily Mail
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Family friend David Horsey captured the tense standoff between the pair, including the moment that the animal lept into the safari jeep. Source: Daily Mail
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Making himself comfortable: The cheeky cheetah and his family casually lounged atop the group’s Land Cruiser jeep. Source: Daily Mail

After losing interest in McCaldin, the cheetah gazed out of the vehicle for a few minutes before casually hopping out.


McCaldin was vacationing with his wife and sister, who are friends of Horsey and his wife, Vicky.

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Photographer David, 62, from Mombasa, Kenya, said: ‘I’ve been living in Kenya all my life, and I’ve never seen anything like this.’ Source: Daily Mail
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Source: Daily Mail
The incredible pictures were taken on June 12, as the group tracked a well-known family of cheetahs, whose mother is called Malaika. Source: Daily Mail
The group was a bit nervous after learning that the cheetah family hadn’t had a kill for several days and were likely hungry. Source: Daily Mail
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Source: Daily Mail
David explained: ‘I think they were used to the jeep, so the mum jumped on top to get a better view.’ Source: Daily Mail
While at first Mickey was quite relaxed, the group quickly became concerned that the cat may decide to snuggle up next to him. Source: Daily Mail

The couple, who have spent their entire lives in Kenya, never tire of exploring the game reserves and witnessing the unpredictable nature of wildlife encounters like this one.

Source: Daily Mail
Once the cheetah got bored of staring at Mickey, it turned away and looked out of the vehicle before ultimately jumping out. Source: Daily Mail
The surprise of their lives! The safari group was comprised of a guide, as well as Mickey, his wife, sister, photographer David, and David’s wife. Source: Daily Mail

Watch the video below:


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