Family Ignores Park's Warning, Pays for Actions When Cheetahs Start Chasing


When I worked in a National Park, my co-workers and I used to see tourists blatantly ignoring park rangers’ warnings. We used to blame it on a made up disease called “vacation brain.”

It just seemed like many who visited the park forgot to be aware of their surroundings like mating elk, large canyons with 300-foot drop-offs, etc.

Despite pleas from rangers and locals, I have seen tourists pose their children next to elk with huge antlers and walk way too close to the edge of the Grand Canyon.

One family had a scary “vacation brain” moment during a recent visit to Beekse Bergen, a drive-through safari park in the Netherlands and it was caught on camera.

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Let me go ahead and make this very clear. If signs in a safari park tell you to stay in your car, don’t get out. Listen to the signs. Always listen to the signs.

Do you remember how getting out of the car turned out for the Jurassic Park crew?

While driving through the safari park, a family of five decided that they would ignore the signs and get out to enjoy the scenery… in the cheetah exhibit.

You know, the fastest land animal.

A car driving behind the family filmed the entire scene. The people filming are nervously laughing the entire time; they were in shock that this family thought it was safe to get out with their children.

When the cheetahs noticed the family walking around, they they instinctively charged towards them. The family quickly scrambled back into their car.

Thankfully, no humans or cheetahs were harmed although it was a close call.

Niels de Wildt, the park’s manager, said, “The cheetahs are on a food schedule so they are not extremely hungry and are not in the hunt. [sic] In the first instance, they have the same reaction as when someone rings in unexpectedly, they think, ‘Hey, something strange is happening in our territory.'”

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Regardless if the predators were on the hunt or not, this story could’ve had a much more grim outcome. Wildt said that the family was “incredibly lucky.”

The moral of this story is threefold: read the signs, don’t ignore the safety warnings, and don’t get out of your car during a drive-through safari park.

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Kayla has been a staff writer for The Western Journal since 2018.
Kayla Kunkel began writing for The Western Journal in 2018.
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