Open-top safari vehicles are great for wildlife viewing … right up until a tiger saunters over to the car and starts nibbling on the side mirror. That’s round about when you begin to feel less like tourists on safari and more like a rolling buffet.

This tense clip was filmed in India’s Umred Karhandla Wildlife Sanctuary and it’s likely that the tiger was more curious than anything else. After pawing and biting the side mirror, the young cat sidled around the vehicle and began sniffing a tourist’s sweater before losing interest and moving on. Hats off to everyone aboard for keeping their cool!

The incident has sparked some concern among conservationists, however, who worry about what could happen if tour guides at the sanctuary continue to put visitors in situations like this one. "It seems the subadult tiger feels secure in the presence of vehicles,” Bittu Sahgal, a member of the Maharashtra Wildlife Board told The Times of India. “My worry is what might have happened if one of the passengers had panicked. In such a situation, an accident might have happened and the tiger would have been blamed.”

What do you think? Should tour guides avoid getting this close? Are open-top vehicles a bad idea? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.


Top header image: Ian Duffy, Flickr