Sarah is a feline phenom, setting the world cheetah speed record in the 100-meter dash — twice.
Sarah lives at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, and they recently clocked her chasing a stuffed dog across a field. She did it in 6.16 seconds.
The previous record of 6.19 seconds was set by a male South African cheetah named Nyana in 2001.
A few minutes later, Sarah broke her own new world record by making the dash again in 6.13 seconds without even breaking a sweat.
To put it in perspective, the fastest human, a Jamaican sprinter named Usain Bolt, ran the 100-meter dash in 9.58 seconds.
Watch Sarah do it. When she’s not pursuing her favorite dog, she’s a real pussycat.
The zoo explains that cheetahs’ flexible spine enables their front legs to cover 20 to 22 feet in one stride, about the same distance as a racehorse. They’re completely off the ground more than half of their running time, and their sharp, hard claws give them great traction. The fastest horse can run about 43 miles an hour, but a cheetah can hit 70.
Sarah could have Rachel Alexandra seeing spots in front of her eyes.
Cathryn Hilker, founder of the Cincinnati Zoo’s Cat Ambassador Program, said, “Sarah is a wonderful animal and a wonderful symbol of hope for all cheetahs… I also hope this record-breaking run helps to raise awareness of the plight of the cheetah.”
Cheetahs are desperately endangered, with only about 9,000–12,000 left today. The Cincinnati Zoo has been dubbed, “The Cheetah Capital of the World,” because it breeds them. Since 2007, it has produced 4 of the 8 cheetah cub litters born in North America, more than anywhere else in the world. In total, 37 cheetah cubs have been born in Cincinnati.
Learn more about the zoo’s cheetahs, see video of an adorable cub named Tommy T, and find out how you can help save these magnificent cats.