Close Encounters Man vs. Nature

Impala eludes two hungry cheetahs by jumping into car full of tourists

Tourist Samantha Pittendrigh captures incredible video on her mobile phone at Kruger National Park in South Africa

impala jump

A frightened impala separated from its herd and trying desperately to elude two hungry cheetahs took evasive action nobody was expecting at Kruger National Park in South Africa. To the surprise and shock of tourists parked alongside a road, the panicked impala escaped by jumping into a car through a window of a Toyota Prado, taking advantage of what the U.K. Daily Express aptly called a window of opportunity. Watch the incredible scene captured by South African tourist Samantha Pittendrigh on her mobile phone:

“We started freaking out going crazy,” Pittendrigh, 20, told the Daily Express. “We couldn’t believe it. We were absolutely dumbstruck.

“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. 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!’

“We heard a little girl screaming in the car. The boy sitting outside the car filming looked a lot younger, so it must have been a family. People in other cars screamed, ‘Open the door! Open the door!’”

Soon, the door opened and the impala exited the vehicle, trotting away having successfully escaped death. The cheetahs, presumably also dumbfounded about the impala jumping into the car, did not give chase.

The world’s fastest land animals did not go hungry, however. Pittendrigh revealed to the Daily Express that they later made a kill 20 yards up the road. Obviously that impala didn’t have the same window of opportunity for escape.