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Tense moment Fermanagh man comes face to face with a cheetah in safari jeep

By Victoria O'Hara

Published 10/07/2015

McCaldin with the inquisitive cheetah
McCaldin with the inquisitive cheetah
A big cat clambers up on the jeep... to be joined by its pals
A big cat clambers up on the jeep... to be joined by its pals

This is the terrifying moment a Northern Ireland man came face to face with a cheetah, when it leapt into the back of a jeep.

Mickey McCaldin from Co Fermanagh was on safari in Africa when the nosey cheetah decided to get a closer look at the tourists who were watching it.

Mr McCaldin was in Kenya with his wife and sister to visit his friend David Horsey and his wife Vicky.

Mr Horsey, who captured the tense standoff, said: "I've been living in Kenya all my life and I've never seen anything like this.

"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," he told the Daily Mail.

The big cat jumped into the back seat as they drove through Kenya's Masai Mara reserve last month.

David (62) captured the pictures on Friday, June 12 as the group tracked a well-known family of cheetahs.

The safari group had noticed the family hadn't had a kill for a few days.

"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."

But as the big cat seemed to grow bored of its close encounter, it looked out of the vehicle for a few minutes before jumping out.

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