by Frank Lewis
What’s the fastest creature on land? Anyone who knows their big cats knows that it’s that handsome spotted streaker known as the cheetah (no relation to the infinitely slower Dead Boys guitarist Cheetah Chrome), which has been known to reach speeds up to 70 mph. Now the Cincinnati Zoo, which is world-renowned for its big-cat breeding, conservation and education programs, has revealed that Sarah, one of its resident cheetahs, has broken a land speed record, not once but twice.
The 8-year-old animal completed the 100-meter sprint in 6.16 seconds, breaking the previous record of 6.19. Then she broke her own record, clocking 6.13 on the same course. Go, Sarah, go!
Sarah was running to promote the zoo’s “Cat Ambassador” program, which educates people about how endangered these animals are and what’s being done to help them. The Cincinnati Zoo is in the forefront of the effort with its Regional Cheetah Breeding Center, which has caused some to call it “The Cheetah Capital of the World.” It is definitely worth the four and a half hour drive down I-71 to see the zoo’s cheetahs and 20 other varieties of wild cats. — Anastasia Pantsios