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African South Africa

Impala Leaps into Car to Escape Cheetahs at Kruger Natl. Park

by PH Online Editors   |  July 11th, 2013 0

The African plains make for some of the most memorable, awe-inspiring and downright awesome moments in the natural world—and luckily, these amazing scenes almost always seem to play out in front of a camera.

From the legendary “Battle at Kruger” to GoPro-style videos of bikers getting KO’d by hartebeest, it’s almost guaranteed that any video of African wildlife is sure to wow you. This latest example is no exception.

According to The Daily Telegraph, a group of tourists at South Africa’s Kruger National Park witnessed a herd of impala being pursued by a pair of cheetahs, which is when one impala was desperate enough to leap into another tourist’s car.

As seen in the video, the herd crossed a road packed with tourists’ vehicles as it headed for the brush, followed closely by a pair of cheetahs. The big cats then singled out one impala, which made a beeline back toward the road. In a last-ditch effort to shake the predators, the impala leapt into a Toyota Prado right in front of the camera.

“We watched the cheetah chasing the impala. We saw a few of them turn around in the bushes towards the road they were running from,” said Samantha Pittendrigh, 20, who filmed the amazing scene. “All of a sudden we saw the impala jump out of the bushes and then someone started screaming ‘it is in the car, it is in the car.’”

Park rules state all tourists must remain in their vehicles at all times—the reasoning behind that rule is pretty clear—so the tourists inside the vehicle had to figure out how to get a frightened impala out of their car without taking a hoof to the face.

“People in other cars screamed ‘open the door, open the door,’” Pittendrigh said.

Amazingly, they were able to get the impala free, and shortly afterward it was trotting around like nothing happened, while the cheetahs abandoned the chase altogether.

Animals do some amazing things to get away from predators, and in Africa, where the animals are bigger, faster and have virtually no fear of humans, the chase certainly makes for some incredible video.

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