Cheeky Cheetahs close in for Close-ups

David Horsey

A curious Cheetah got up close and personal with a holidaymaker on safari at the Masai Mara game reserve in Kenya when the animal jumped into the back seat of a jeep The wild cat, with its razor sharp claws and teeth, sure is one kitty you’d rather not have curling up on your lap. But, nevertheless, the bold animal hopped into the back seat of a jeep as it drove through the African plains – much to the shock of an Irishman inside. After entering the vehicle, it slowly sauntered over to holidaymaker Mickey McCaldin until it was barely a foot away from his face.

CHEETAH 22 CHEETAH 33 Family friend David Horsey captured the tense standoff between the pair as it looked like the cheetah was going to make himself comfortable on Mickey’s lap. David, 62 from Mombasa, Kenya, said: “I’ve been living in Kenya all my life and I’ve never seen anything like this.” ‘The cheetah just wasn’t scared of getting up close and personal. 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.’

At first, the cheetah simply looked at Irish tourist Mickey McCaldin curiously, but then it moved closer as if to curl up on his lap At one point, the large cat was so close to Mickey that it was only about a foot away from his face Family friend David Horsey captured the tense standoff between the pair, including the moment that the animal leapt into the safari jeepCHEETAH 11

Making himself comfortable: The cheeky cheetah and his family casually lounged atop the group’s Land Cruiser jeep David captured the pictures on June 12, as the group tracked a well-known family of cheetahs, whose mother is called Malaika. Having followed them for a couple of days previously, they observed that the family hadn’t had a kill for several days.

David said: “The family had been looking for a gazelle for a few days with no luck. 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. I think the other cheetah tried to follow her up but went a different way.

‘Once it had got bored of Mickey it turned away and looked out of the vehicle for a few minutes.

‘It just jumped out afterwards.’



Surprise of their lives! The safari group was comprised a guide, as well as Mickey, his wife, sister, photographer David and David’s wife. Mickey was out on holiday with his wife and sister, who are friends of David and his wife Vicky.

David said: ‘Me and Vicky have lived in Kenya all our lives but we never feel the urge to leave. People always ask us where we’re going on holiday and it’s always around the game reserves.

‘You never know what you’re going to come across – just like this.’

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Another mode of CLOSE-UP .. at Yala involving a Leopard and his Mate


courtesy of Marcel Bandaranaike



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Filed under landscape wondrous, life stories, power sharing, the imaginary and the real, travelogue, wild life

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