Impala Leaps into Car, Escapes Cheetahs

by
posted on July 11, 2013
wilder_ah2015_fs.jpg (22)

undefinedAs soon as you set foot into the wilderness, you have to accept that your presence changes the balance in some way, shape or form—but it's not often that observers mean the difference between life and death, even inadvertently. That's what happened at South Africa's Kruger National Park, as an SUV's open window saved an impala from a fair of hungry cheetahs.

The now widely-circulated video, which is embedded below, shows a herd of impala cut across a road and right through a group of cars touring the park, desperate to get away from a pursuing cheetah. Things get even more interesting when one of the impala gets separated from its buddies, and winds up the target of not one, but two of the big cats. With its future looking grim, the panicked animal threw caution to the wind and leapt toward the only salvation it could find: the open window of an SUV that had stopped to watch the action.

Amazingly, it stuck the landing—earning unanimous 10/10 scores from our panel of judges, even the Russian one. With one heave, the impala found itself some safety—though admittedly at the cost of absolutely terrifying the people that were occupying the vehicle. That's still better than being cheetah chow. I can only imagine that, if the antelope could talk, it would have offered something along the lines of "Punch it, Chewie!"

The next cut in the video shows the impala casually walking away from the car after being let out the other side, at a somewhat more leisurely pace. The predators don't appear to be pursuing it, and I'm assuming that's because they were still too stunned at the turn of events. The report goes on to say that they tagged another impala a little ways down the road, anyway, so it's safe to say they didn't go to bed without supper.

I'm actually a little taken aback at the boldness of the tourist that you can see leaning out the SUV's window during the video. Kruger National Park has a strict don't leave your car policy, which I suppose he doesn't violate, but just leaning out the car that way is exposing himself to more action than seems safe. Predator and prey alike aren't going to go out of their way to avoid you just because you're a "non-combatant," nor should you expect them to. What if the cheetah to the left had tried to use this guy's window to get at the impala after it holed up in the car?

In case you haven't seen it, here's the video. Crazy stuff:

Latest

MAIN Cascade XT Black RT Hillside
MAIN Cascade XT Black RT Hillside

CVA Announces Cascade XT Bolt-Action Rifle

CVA has announced the Cascade XT (X-Treme), a bolt-action rifle that sports weight-reducing barrel fluting and a radial muzzle break as standard equipment.

Mule Deer Marathon

Our man chases elusive mule deer through the wild weather and perilous wildlife of Wyoming’s high country.

Behind the Bullet: .327 Federal Magnum

Despite the magnum moniker, the .327 Federal Magnum is a pleasure to shoot, giving it a lot of flexibility. It is a viable defensive cartridge, and in a hunting rifle, is a great choice for when shot distances are on the shorter end of the spectrum.

Making the Jump: First Foray Into Crossbow Hunting

Contributor Frank Melloni makes his first leap into bowhunting, with the TenPoint 505.

onX Adds Draw Odds for Application Season

By bringing Toprut into its fold, onX Hunt has become a year-round tool, from pre-season scouting and field use, to finding the data needed to navigate tag applications across the west.

3 Tips That Will Make You a Better Wingshooter

Want to bag more birds this year? Following these simple tips can make that happen.

Interests



Get the best of American Hunter delivered to your inbox.