This curious cat got up close and personal with a tourist while hunting at Kenya’s Masai Mara game reserve.
With its razor-sharp claws and teeth, the wild cat is definitely a feral cat you don’t want to curl up in your lap.
Nevertheless, the daring animal jumped into the back seat of a jeep as it drove through the African plains – shocking an Irishman inside.
A curious feral cat got up close and personal with a tourist on a safari in Kenya when the animal jumped into the back seat of a jeep
After getting in the jeep, it slowly ran to mechanic Mickey McCaldin until he was a foot away from his face.
Family friend David Horsey captured the tense confrontation between the pair as it looked like the cheetah would make itself comfortable in Mickey’s lap.
David, 62, from Mombasa, Kenya, said: “I’ve lived in Kenya all my life, and I’ve never seen anything like this.
“The cheetah wasn’t afraid of getting up close and personal. Mickey was really relaxed at first, but I think he was quite nervous because he might try and sit on his lap.
“Unlike a domestic cat, you definitely don’t want that.”
At first, the leopard just looked curiously at Irish tourist Mickey McCaldin, but then it moved closer as if curled up in his lap.
At one point, the big cat was so close to Mickey that it was only a foot away from his face
Family friend David Horsey captured the tense stand-off between the pair, including the moment the animal hopped onto a safari jeep
Make himself comfortable: The cheeky cheetah and his family lounged casually atop the group’s Land Cruiser jeep
David captured the photos on June 12, when the team followed a prominent cheetah family, whose mother was named Malaika.
Having followed them a few days earlier, they noticed that the family had been without a k.i.l.l for several days.
David said: ‘The family searched for antelope for several days but no luck.
“Since we had been on the road for a few days, I think they got used to the jeep, so the mom jumped on top to get a better view.
“I think the cheetah tried to track her down but took a different route.
“When he got bored with Mickey, he turned away and looked out of the car for a few minutes.
“It just jumped out after that.”
Photographer David, 62, from Mombasa, Kenya, said: ‘I’ve lived in Kenya all my life and I’ve never seen anything like this.
The incredible photos were taken on June 12, when the team followed a famous cheetah family, whose mother is named Malaika
The group was a bit worried after learning that the cheetah family hadn’t had a murder in a few days and were likely hungry.
David explained: “I think they got used to the jeep, so the mom jumped on top to get a better view.”
Mickey appeared to be quite relaxed at first, but the group quickly became concerned that the cat might decide to snuggle up next to them.
Once the cheetah got tired of looking at Mickey, it turned away and looked out of the car before jumping out
Surprise of their lives! The hunting group included a guide, as well as Mickey, his wife, sister, photographer David and David’s wife
Mickey went on vacation with his wife and sister, friends of David and his wife, Vicky.
David said: ‘Vicky and I have lived in Kenya all our lives, but we never felt the urge to leave.
‘People always ask us where we’re going on holiday, and that information always revolves around game reserves.
“You never know what you’re going to get – just like this.”