Cincinnati Zoo says goodbye to world’s fastest cheetah - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Cincinnati Zoo says goodbye to world’s fastest cheetah

Sarah doing what she does best - Running! (Provided by CZBG) Sarah doing what she does best - Running! (Provided by CZBG)
Sarah and Cathryn Hilker, the woman who raised her. (CZBG) Sarah and Cathryn Hilker, the woman who raised her. (CZBG)
CINCINNATI (FOX19) -

The world’s fastest land animal died at the Cincinnati Zoo Thursday.

Cheetah Sahara - also known as Sarah - had to be euthanized after a rapid decline in health over the past few weeks, according to a zoo spokesperson.

The beloved cheetah was 15 years old.  The average lifespan of a cheetah is eight to twelve years.

Sarah was a well-known around the Cincinnati area and the globe. She was featured in magazines, print and even a local Metro commercial, but her claim to fame is being the fastest captive cheetah in the world.

During the filming of a National Geographic cheetah special in 2012, Sarah ran 100 meters in 5.95 seconds, beating her previous world record of 6.13 seconds set in 2009.  That’s more than 3 seconds faster than the world's fastest man, Usain Bolt of Jamaica, whose fastest time for the same distance is 9.58 seconds. 

Sarah came to the Cincinnati Zoo when she was only six weeks old and was hand raised by Cathryn Hilker, Founder of the Zoo’s Cat Ambassador Program. She was one of the first cheetah cubs to be raised with a puppy companion.

“Sarah was the queen bee around here.  She had a very expressive face that communicated what she wanted. And we obliged," said Linda Castaneda, Lead Trainer for the Cincinnati Zoo’s "She was a dynamic individual and we were privileged to know her and learn from her.  We will all miss the princess cat.”

Copyright 2016 WXIX. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly