Wildlife snapper Paolo Torchio held his nerve as cheetahs boarded (Photos)

Cheetahs may be the fastest land animals in the world, but this pair look more content riding a car.

Wildlife photographer Paolo Torchio held his nerve as a fully-grown mother and her juvenile son hopped on to the roof of his vehicle just feet away.

'I was already out from the hatch, and so we found ourselves sharing the tiny space of the roof with the two big wild cats,' he said.

'The female was looking around using our car as a perfect viewpoint to spot prey or threats while her son was curiously looking at us.

'He was so comfortable that he used one of the spare diesel tanks like a cushion to take a nap.'

Mr Torchio captured the images at the Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya, which is home to thousands of cheetahs.

This particular mother Malaika, who like other adults is capable of speeds approaching 70mph, is well-known in the area for hopping onto cars.

Mr Torchio, 52, who hails from Italy but now lives in Kenya, is well accustomed with the behaviour of cheetahs and says they are 'very polite and friendly' when not disturbed.

'Of course the emotion was high, very high,' he added.

'But slow movements and by keeping our voice-level low was enough not to scare them and escalate to a potentially dangerous situation.

'Wild animals should always be treated with full respect.'

Responses to "Two cheetahs board photographer's 4x4 to go cruising round the Masai Mara"

  1. Unknown says:

    Wow!!!! So beautiful, it brings tears of joy!!!

  2. Unknown says:

    Wow!!!! So beautiful, it brings tears of joy!!!

  3. What a thrilling and at the same time spiritual experience to find oneself so close to something as wild and beautiful as these Cheetahs. I'm jealous.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Such beauty.What an awesome privilege.You lucky man.

  5. Grushenko says:

    Someday, someday!

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