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Cincinnati cheetah world's fastest animal

Sept. 10, 2009 at 2:14 PM   |   Comments

CINCINNATI, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- An 8-year-old cheetah at the Cincinnati Zoo is now the world's fastest animal thanks to a speedy 100-meter sprint time, an official linked to the zoo says.

Cathryn Hilker, who founded the Cat Ambassador Program at the Cincinnati Zoo, said in a zoo release that Sarah the cheetah broke the previous world record twice Wednesday with 100-meter runs of 6.16 seconds and 6.13 seconds, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

"Sarah is a wonderful animal and a wonderful symbol of hope for all cheetahs," Hilker said. "It's really great for Sarah to have the honor as the fastest in the world, but I also hope this record-breaking run helps to raise awareness of the plight of the cheetah."

The previous record holder was held by a male South African cheetah named Nyana that ran a 6.19-second sprint in 2001.

The Cincinnati Zoo has earned the title "The Cheetah Capital of the World" for its attempts to protect the dwindling cheetah population worldwide, which has fallen from nearly 100,000 in 1900 to as few as 9,000.

Sarah's record-setting runs Wednesday were much faster than the human record for a 100-meter run. That record of 9.58 seconds currently belongs to Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt.

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