wіɩd eпсoᴜпteг: Captivating Images сарtᴜгe Big Cat Riding Frenzied Antelope While Grabbing a Snack on the Kenyan Savannah

A stunning sequence of photos shows a cheetah riding on the back of an antelope on the Kenyan savanna before bringing the beast tumbling to the ground.

The ferocious big cat leapt up and sunk its claws into the hind quarters of the topi – one of the fastest antelopes – hauling it down before his brothers joined in and surrounded the frantic prey.

It was captured by Dutch photographer Dick van Duijn who was in the Maasai Mara National Reserve, tracking the five cheetah brothers known as the ‘fast five’.

‘We saw the cheetahs walking in the tall grass and a little bit further we saw a topi,’ the 34-year-old said.

‘The topi couldn’t see the cheetahs, because of the tall grass. Our game driver drove in front of the topi so we could see the hunt. Unfortunately, we were a little bit far away, because if we got too close to the topi we would scare him off – they are smart and know if a safari jeep comes close there is some danger from predators.

‘Once they started the chase it was such an intense moment. You cannot believe how quickly cheetahs can move.’

Renowned for their keen eyesight and dazzling speed, cheetahs are the world’s fastest land mammal, reaching speeds of 60mph in approximately three seconds. By comparison, topis are no slouches and can easily reach speeds of over 50mph – but the creature’s fleet feet weren’t fast enough to save it on this occasion.

Fast food: The sensational sequence was captured by Dutch photographer Dick van Duijn recently who was in the Maasai Mara National Reserve, with the cheetah leaping onto the topi’s back (left) – one of the most nimble antelope species – before the weight of the big cat sent the prey stumbling (right)

The cheetah gets its paws either side of the topi’s rear end as he rides it across the savanna before his brothers came to his aid to take down the rapid antelope. ‘Once they started the chase it was such an intense moment. You cannot believe how quickly cheetahs can move,’ Mr Van Duijn said

Brotherly love: After being brought down by the cheetah on its back, the antelope was surrounded by its brothers who helped get hold of the fast food

Even so, the cheetah was forced to hitch a ride for a short distance before hauling the panic-stricken creature down.

‘In one of the photos it looks like the cheetah is riding on the back of the topi,’ said Mr Van Duijn, who worked in his parents fish shop before picking up photography as a creative outlet.

‘Lots of people spotted this. Somebody even composed a little melody by saying: ‘I’m gonna take my topi to the old town road, I’m gonna ride ’til I can’t no more’, inspired by Lil Nas X ‘Old Town Road.’

‘Not everybody was positive when I posted some of these photos to my Instagram and Facebook, but this is pure nature.

The cheetah leapt onto the antelope’s back (left) and its weight eventually caused the beast to lose its footing and tumble to the floor (right). Renowned for their keen eyesight and dazzling speed, cheetahs are the world’s fastest land mammal, reaching speeds of 60mph in approximately three seconds. By comparison, topis are no slouch and can easily reach speeds of over 50mph – but the creature’s fleet feet weren’t fast enough to save it on this occasion.

The topi tries to make a break for it as the cheetah bears down on its prey. The fastest land mammal was able to leap onto the antelope’s back and bring it down with the help of its brothers

Dirt is kicked up into the air as the topi’s hooves frantically attempt to move it away from the cheetah – while the antelope has the big cat beaten over long distances, the cheetah’s acceleration is his advantage to exploit in the opening of a chase

‘The cheetahs can’t go to the local butcher or supermarket to buy their food and there’s no option to go vegetarian. I lost a few hundred followers after these photos because they were too shocked.

‘I love this type of photography because I really like animals and nature and you never know what you are going to see when you’re out in nature.’

The Dutch photographer uses the Instagram handle, @dickvanduijn and has his own Facebook page.

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