Impala cartwheels through the air after attempting to flee chasing cheetah at 40mph

This is the moment an impala was sent flying through the air in an incredible show of acrobatics as she attempted to avoid a dust-up with a hungry cheetah.

Reinhard Radke, a professional photographer from Germany, caught the airborne animal moments before it was caught by the big cat in the Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya.

His incredible image sequence shows the impala appear to hit a termite mound at a speed of nearly 40mph, toppling the animal in her tracks and allowing the cheetah to take advantage.

A termitey-mistake: The impala spirals through the air after hitting mound at 40mph while trying to escape a cheetah in Kenya

A termitey-mistake: The impala spirals through the air after hitting mound at 40mph while trying to escape a cheetah in Kenya

A termitey-mistake: The impala spirals through the air after hitting mound at 40mph while trying to escape a cheetah in Kenya

Reinhard, 70, said: ‘We watched for an hour from a distance until a cheetah started to chase a female impala in very high grass.

‘The chase turned straight into the direction of our car and the antelope miscalculated the height of a termite mount in its way.

‘Just 20 metres away she hit the mound and lost control.

‘The cheetah overwhelmed the impala before it could get back on its hooves.’ 

Foot race: The contest had been a fairer one between the speedy antelope and the big cat before the prey lost her footing

Foot race: The contest had been a fairer one between the speedy antelope and the big cat before the prey lost her footing

Foot race: The contest had been a fairer one between the speedy antelope and the big cat before the prey lost her footing

Oh deer: Once the impala hit the termite mound it was game over as the cheetah made up ground as she flew through the air

Nice to eat you: The chase ended with some fast food for the cheetah, who sunk its teeth into its prey in the Maasi-Mara park

Nice to eat you: The chase ended with some fast food for the cheetah, who sunk its teeth into its prey in the Maasi-Mara park

Nice to eat you: The chase ended with some fast food for the cheetah, who sunk its teeth into its prey in the Maasi-Mara park

 

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