Terrifying Video of Family Stalked by Cheetahs Shows Why You Should Respect Wild Animals When Photographing Them

Safari parks have signs strongly warning visitors not to exit their cars for obvious reasons. A family visiting the Beekse Bergen Safari Park in Hilvarenbeek, Netherlands ignored those warnings to take photos of a group of cheetahs and very nearly paid dearly for the poor decision.

A group of people in a separate car filmed the family leaving their vehicle twice to get closer to the cheetahs and take photos. The first time, nothing happened, but the second time, a group of cheetahs began to stalk and chase the family, resulting in a tense standoff as the people tried to retreat to their vehicle, with one of the animals continue to threaten them. It appears that same cheetah was preparing to pounce on the small child when the mother picked them up; Niels de Wildt, the park manager, confirmed that the animals likely saw the child as prey and noted how lucky the family was to have escaped, admonishing visitors to respect the park rules and signs that tell them to stay in their vehicles with windows and doors closed at all times. 

Lead image by Kevin Pluck, used under Creative Commons.

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Christos Dikos's picture

Just saw over the weekend so called "free divers" that purposely going in the water with great white sharks without a cage to "truly capture their beauty" on camera.

Ryan Cooper's picture

Notice in the video how as the woman walks towards the car, her back is exposed and the cat approaches to attack, then as she turns back towards the predators, the cheetah hesitates.

If you ever find yourself in a situation like this. Do not ever turn your back on the cats. So long as you can slowly back away making sure that none of the animals is able to get behind you, odds are they won't strike and you will get away.

Though, be mindful to be aware of your surroundings. Often other pack members like this will approach from the side or behind while you are distracted by the first threat.

(That said, if you know predators like this are nearby, stay in the damn car. ;))

Motti Bembaron's picture

True! farmers in India, while walking in the woods, have a face painted mask on the back of their head, tigers hesitate to attack when facing their target.

Kenneth Jordan's picture

Some people think it's a petting zoo! My area has plenty of people like that. 😬

Reginald Walton's picture

The world has plenty of people like that.

Jeff Colburn's picture

Typical stupid tourist. 1 - Don't play with wild animals. 2 - Children are always seen as prey. 3 - Turning your back on a big cat instantly makes you prey.

Worst parenting award?

Tony Tumminello's picture

Let's face it: some people just deserve to be eaten. Not the kid though, not their fault they have stupid parents.

user-156929's picture

Humanity, as a species, is getting stupider and stupider. Their phones are sucking out their intelligence which is why they're smart. smh

Daniel Medley's picture

Smartphones. Making us dumber every day ...

Michael Yearout's picture

We had a similar incident just last week near where I live involving moose. People approaching a full grown moose (they are quite large animals approaching 1,000 pounds), chasing it and the moose got very close to charging them. It was all on video and the wildlife department has issued one citation so far. Idiots indeed!

Stas Aleksandersson's picture

How much was the moose going to charge them?

Michael Yearout's picture

Knowing what a moose can do if you get them really pissed off and they charge (attack) you I would imagine the hospital bill would be in the mid 5 figures! Or if it killed you, the charge would be less (just the funeral expenses). ;-)

Stas Aleksandersson's picture

Oh yeah those suckers are huge. I’ve seen them live in Maine. Magnificent but I couldn’t imagine to try to mess with them.

Motti Bembaron's picture

I am thinking to myself, this is a joke right? But nope, not a joke...Heck, why not carry with you some pieces of raw meat while you are at it, just to make it even more interesting.

Who the hell get out of the car in a SAFARI??

Ernest Birkenstock's picture

It's only cheetahs guy's, you will be perfectly safe the kid not so much though. Lucky there where not any baboons .

It was all over the news in our country. The park is quite near to where I live and I have visited it a couple of times.
There is a zoo but you can also drive through the park. They are very serious in warning you too keep your doors and windows locked.

This French family must have been totally clueless or really stupid or a combination of both.

Most city dwellers don't have a clue what nature is really like and in most parts of Western-Europe, you could live your entire lives without seeing a dangerous animal. Although the wolf is coming back, even to our highly populated country (411 people per square km). Too many people think wolves are just big dogs and leopards just big cats.

Aaron Bratkovics's picture

They are dumb lol. I would probably try to help the family with my vehicle instead of watching this unfold.

Jeff Morris's picture

This story has nothing to do with videography or photography AT ALL. Why is this on Fstoppers? If I want to see idiots on safari I'll watch an episode of Top Gear.

Alex Cooke's picture

They did something ill-advised in the pursuit of photos.

Ben D's picture

and the parents of the year award goes to...

Chad D's picture

I worked in tourism as a scuba instructor for 15 years the idiocy of people is sadly all the time
you want to open your eyes to stupid work in a heavy tourist area !
I am from Maui so even their tourist idiocy is daily :) hahahahhaah

near drownings on a weekly basis lucky the dead bodies some brought back some not only happen every year or so but the only broken bones or lacerations or missing body part accidents are monthly

what pisses me off is when you see parents put kids at risk !

Stas Aleksandersson's picture

I heard that if you find yourself near a shark, you should swim towards it to establish dominance.
With wild cats it’s similar - start running towards the animal, they will get confused and run away wondering what the hell that was all about.

I think this is the advice your friend gave you so he can quickly run/swim away ;)

Stas Aleksandersson's picture

In this case I will unfriend and unfollow him right now.

Heartwarming how the rest of them got in the car while the mom and child were still walking back.