THE APPEAL of a drive-through safari park is that you can get close to wild animals in an environment that’s more natural than a zoo pen. But one French family decided that passing close-by to the cheetahs and peering through the windows of their Volkswagen Golf wasn’t close enough — so they got out of their car.
Despite warnings at Beekse Bergen wildlife safari park, telling visitors to remain in their vehicle at all times, a French family decided to get a better look at the world’s fastest land animal and take a wander around the cheetah enclosure, perhaps to perk up their Instagram or Facebook feed.
Initially, they stopped to take photos of the cheetahs lying in shade, beneath trees. Two women and two children are seen standing next to their car, and moving some luggage from the cabin to the boot. Then then drive on further, stop, and decide to go for a stroll…
Video footage filmed by people in the following car shows the cheetahs taking notice, then they begin to stalk the family in the open.
Once they realise their terrible error of judgement, a woman from the family scoops up a young child, while a man and child can be seen running back to the car.
The woman then calmly shoos two approaching cheetahs away. Incredibly, all of the family safely make it back to their car.
It is the second safari park incident in the space of a month. In April, one couple closed their car’s window on a nosy giraffe that had poked its head through the opening – causing the glass to shatter.
A spokesman for Beekse Bergen park said they make it very clear that it is forbidden to leave your vehicle. ‘We inform visitors about the risks in several languages throughout the park,’ he told Dutch broadcaster NOS.
However, the message is clear: if you’re planning a visit to a safari park, don’t do what this family did and get out of your car, or you could end up as a tasty snack.