One group of tourists on a recent vacation in South Africa’s Kruger National Park got front row seats for a scene from the circle of life–and inadvertently became participants in a struggle between predator and prey. According to the Daily Mail, two cheetahs were in pursuit of several impalas when Samantha Pittendrigh’s safari convoy rolled up to the chase. Pulling out her camera, she began to film as the cars came to a stop. Just then, one of the impalas spotted an open window and jumped inside one of the vehicles.

“We started freaking out, going crazy,” Pittendrigh said. “We couldn’t believe it, we were absolutely dumbstruck.”

With both the tourists and the wild animal panicking, the impala managed to stay in the car long enough for the cheetahs to lose interest. When the predators had distanced themselves from the road, one of the passengers opened a door and the grateful animal fled to safety.

Don’t feel too bad for the cheetahs, they managed to nab a meal further down the road.

Image screenshot of video by Barcroft TV on YouTube

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