In a recent popular YouTube video, more than a dozen impala bounce across the screen. Then, a cheetah flies out of the bushes, cutting off an impala. The cheetah chases the impala until it falls beside… a red BMW?!
The video has many wildlife enthusiasts upset. It was made near an entry point to South Africa’s Kruger Park and shows people standing outside of, perched on or hanging out of at least 20 cars. Their chatter, cameras and human smell disturbed the cheetah, who retreated off the road and stood looking around for a full minute, unsure what to do. Eventually, it decided to brave the human presence, dashing among them long enough to drag the impala off the road, then exit stage left.
“It is quite sad to see that many visitors breaking the rules,” said Sarah Oxley, project administrator for Latest Sightings, which posts wildlife videos from Kruger National Park, as reported by HuffPost. “Because the sighting happened near Crocodile Bridge, a popular entry point into the park, the traffic built up really quickly and that is why there are so many people at the sighting.”
According to the Kruger Park website, “Kruger Park cheetahs have helped show that the carnivore can successfully hunt in wooded areas, not just on open grassland plains.” This video proves they can also hunt on roads with people and parked cars on either side. But they shouldn’t have to.
Kruger Park is a stronghold for this amazing spotted cat, which can run up to 60 miles an hour. Some estimates put the South African cheetah population at fewer than 1,000.
In case you saw the video and are thinking of buying a ticket to South Africa, renting a red BMW and getting close to some cheetah/impala action, let’s quickly go over the rules of Kruger Park. You are supposed to be quiet. Stay in the car, keep your windows up and your doors locked, as baboons have learned to open car doors and might want to hop in with you.
“Leaving your car is forbidden and is punishable by a fine,” according to the park website. Even if you have a flat tire, you’re supposed to call park administration to send a breakdown service rather than step out of your car. Don’t be the next disrespectful loser caught in a viral cheetah video.
Lead image via Pixabay