It was only about a month ago when Usain Bolt stunned the world with his 9.58 second 100m dash. Yesterday, the 'lightning' was usurped from his throne by a faster mammal - An 8-year old cheetah called Sarah.
And unlike Bolt who took over a year to break his own record, Sarah did it within 15 minutes. Her first 100m dash was timed at 6.16 seconds. Not satisfied, she ran the track one more time, completing it in 6.13 seconds. By her third attempt, the intense heat and fatigue seemed to have set in on this middle-aged mammal, 'slowing' her down to 6.60 seconds.
However, Sarah better not rest on her laurels. As soon as the weather improves in October, Zaza a South African cheetah and the previous record holder for the world's fastest land animal, plans to take her on!
But the cheetah program manager at the Cincinnati Zoo, where the cheetah has lived most of her life, is not worried. That's because Sarah accomplished yesterday's feat despite running on an incline with the wind against her. Next time around, she will simply run downhill and with the wind behind her!
Sarah's run was organized by the Cincinnati Zoo's special Cheetah breeding facility to highlight the importance of conserving these amazing animals whose numbers have dropped dramatically in the last 100 years.
While the zoo is proud of their new celebrity, they are used to fame. One of their other cheetahs Moya, who died in January, had held the record for a whole year before being defeated by his own brother, a South African cheetah called Nyana. We're sure that Sarah will be able to regain her record even if she loses it to Zaza, later this year.