A curious cheetah jumped into a truck to inspect a tourist on safari at the Masai Mara game reserve in Kenya.
The big cat hopped into the back seat of a safari truck, as it drove through the African savanna, much to the shock of the Irish tourist seated inside.
Once it entered the truck, the cat slowly made its way over to Mickey McCaldin until it was barely a foot away from him. (Scroll down for the video.)
1. 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 truck.
2. 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.
Family friend David Horsey captured the tense moment on camera, as it looked like the cat was just about to make himself comfortable on the tourist’s lap. Horsey, 62, from Mombasa, Kenya, said:
I’ve been living in Kenya all my life and I’ve never seen anything like this.
The cheetah just wasn’t scared of getting up close and personal. At first Mickey was really relaxed but I think he was quite concerned it might try and sit in his lap.
Unlike a domestic cat, you certainly don’t want that.
3. At one point, the large cat was so close to Mickey that it was only about a foot away from his face.
4. Family friend David Horsey captured the tense standoff between the pair, including the moment that the animal leapt into the safari truck.
Horsey took the pictures on June 12, as the group tracked a family of cheetahs, whose mother is named Malaika.
Having already followed the family for a couple of days, the tourists observed that the family hadn’t had a kill for several days. Horsey said:
The family had been looking for a gazelle for a few days with no luck. As we’d been around for a couple of days, I think they were used to the jeep so the mum jumped on top to get a better view.
I think the other cheetah tried to follow her up but went a different way. Once it had got bored of Mickey it turned away and looked out of the vehicle for a few minutes. It just jumped out afterwards.’
5. The cheeky cheetah and his family casually lounged atop the group’s Land Cruiser.
6. Photographer David Horsey, 62 from Mombasa, Kenya, said: “I’ve been living in Kenya all my life and I’ve never seen anything like this”.
7. While at first Mickey was quite relaxed, the group quickly became concerned that the cat may decide to snuggle up next to him.
McCaldin was on holiday with his wife and sister, who are all friends of Horsey and his wife Vicky. Horsey said:
Me and Vicky have lived in Kenya all our lives but we never feel the urge to leave.
People always ask us where we’re going on holiday and it’s always around the game reserves.
You never know what you’re going to come across — just like this.
8. The incredible moment a cheetah jumps on the roof of a truck.
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