Amazing video has surfaced of a sharp-witted impala evading a pair of cheetahs in South Africa's Kruger National Park. The exhilarating chase and clever escape was captured on video by a South African tourist in a companion vehicle.
The tourists were on an a mobile excursion in the park when they spotted the impala, a medium-size African antelope, in the midst of being hotly pursued by a pair of cheetahs. The impala then spotted the tourist vehicles and proceeded to leap though the open window of one of the SUVs.
"We started freaking out, going crazy; we couldn't believe it; we were absolutely dumbstruck," 20-year-old Samantha Pittendrigh, who shot the video on July 5, told CNN.
"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!'
"People in other cars screamed, 'Open the door! Open the door!'"
According to Pittendrigh, once the coast was clear, the impala calmly exited the opposite side of the car.
The cheetahs, having realized they’d been outsmarted, abandoned the hunt and continued on into the park.
"My family are so jealous," Pittendrigh said. "In all the years my parents have been going to Kruger Park, they have never seen anything like it, and we do go regularly.
"It really is a once-in-a-lifetime thing, and we managed to be in the right place at the right time."
The cheetah can run faster than any other land animal -- as fast as 112 to 120 km/h (70 to 75 mph) in short bursts covering distances up to 500 meters (1,600 feet) and has the ability to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3 seconds. Data from 367 runs by three female and two male adults, with an average run distance of 173 meters, showed that while hunting cheetahs can run 58 miles (93 km) per hour.
Cheetah Chases Impala Antelope Into Tourist's Car On Safari