Video: Cheetah jumps on top of open Jeep on African safari

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Thursday, September 12, 2019
Video: Cheetah jumps on top of open Jeep on African safari
Kemberly Richardson reports on the cheetah scare in Tanzania.

SERENGETI, Tanzania -- Tourists from New Jersey on vacation in Tanzania got a great view of a cheetah on their safari.

In fact, it was closer than they may have wanted.

The Shimek family, of Summit, was on a safari in the Serengeti when the cheetah jumped onto the roof of an open-top Jeep in their group.

There were two people inside the vehicle along with a guide.

"I mean, honestly, I was so scared," Jen Shimek said. "I kept saying, 'Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, please don't come near us, please don't come near us.' I'm thinking of my kids. I'm thinking, what should we actually do if it happens?"

After a few tense seconds, Shimek said it was clear the animal was not a threat.

"The cheetah was just super curious, sitting down, looking around, going up and down, looking inside the vehicle," she said.

Shimek, who was with her husband and two children at the time, said she was still terrified the cheetah would come to her vehicle so she asked her guide what they should do.

"He literally said just sit down and sit still," Shimek said. "I said 'are you crazy, I can't just sit down and sit still.'"

And just like that, the cheetah seemed to lose interest and took off.

Fortunately, no one was hurt, but now they all have a story to tell.

"I was super excited because I was like, 'I can't believe I am witnessing this,' so I felt like I won the lottery."