A French family of five was lucky to go unscathed after they were chased by cheetahs at a safari park in the Netherlands.
Chased By Cheetahs
Cheetahs at Holland's Safari Park Beekse Bergen ran after the family, who had a small child with them.
Video of the incident showed the family got out of their car in the middle of the drive-through safari park that features free-roaming cheetahs. The cheetahs that spotted them raced over and snarled aggressively chasing the family back to their car.
A woman who was carrying the smallest child can be seen shooing the animals away as she walked towards the car.
Cheetahs prey on small animals. Safari park manager Niels de Wildt said it was fortunate that the cheetahs were not hungry and were simply protecting their territory. He said that the animals are on a food schedule so they were not extremely hungry at the time of the incident and were not in the hunt.
"They have the same reaction as when someone rings in unexpectedly, they think: 'Hey, something strange is happening in our territory, but in the end they do respond to this exceptional visit, and these people have been incredibly lucky," " de Wildt said.
Like most safari parks, the Dutch park has signs in different languages that tell visitors they are not allowed to leave their cars but people tend to ignore the warning.
The family in the video appears to have decided to get out of the vehicle to get a closer look at the cats. Many people are injured or even killed in wildlife parks while trying to get a better photograph or selfie.
In 2015, a lion at in Lion and Safari Park near Johannesburg killed an American tourist who was trying to take pictures through an open window in the safari jeep.
Cheetahs Not As Aggressive
No one was injured but something worse may have happened if the animals had been another big cat. Laurie Marker, the founder of the Cheetah Conservation Fund, said that cheetahs are not as aggressive as their feline cousins like the lion, leopard, and tiger.
Luke Dollar, a conservation biologist from Catawba College, said that people forget that big cats are top predators. For these animals, people could be a prey.
"As a parent when I saw that young child in the video...I was afraid of what was going to happen next," Dollar said.