Before last month, the world record holder for the 100-meter dash was Olympian Usain Bolt, with 9.58 seconds. However, on June 20, Sarah the cheetah beat this time, clocking in at 5.95 seconds. The 11-year-old cheetah, whose home is the Cincinnati Zoo in Ohio, was clocked in as going 60 miles per hour.
“She looked like a polka-dotted missile,” said National Geographic photo editor Kim Hubbard. “I’ve never seen anything alive run that fast.”
To prepare, five cheetahs would run several sprints per day. These animals are used to sprinting long distances, as they often do it for zoo visitors who want to see the big cats in action. Not only is this exercise good for their bodies, it has helped to raise over $1 million for conservation efforts.
While Sarah’s sprint was the fastest 100-meter dash ever recorded of any moving thing on Earth, chances are cheetahs in the wild, who are extremely lean and must catch quick-moving prey for survival, have probably run faster.
To see Sarah in action, check out the video above.