Cheetahs at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay



Get up close to the world's fastest land animal.


Built for speed, Cheetahs have long, slim, muscular legs, a small, rounded head set on a long neck, a flexible spine, a deep chest, special pads on their feet for traction and a long tail for balance. They are also the only cat that cannot retract their claws, an adaptation to help maintain traction. 

Cheetahs are included on both the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) list of vulnerable species as well as on the US Endangered Species Act list of threatened species.

Location: Cheetah Run®

Ask an Educator about Cheetahs

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Do cheetahs purr or roar?

While other big cats roar, cheetahs actually purr

What do cheetahs eat in the wild?

Cheetahs are carnivores and prey on smaller mammals in the wild.  They are a smaller cat compared to the lion and leopard and only have the strength to hunt gazelles, impalas, and the young of larger species.  Occasionally they will hunt warthogs, rabbits, and birds

Where are cheetahs native to?

Historically, cheetahs are native throughout all of the African and Asian continents.  Currently, they are only found in small pockets in parts of eastern, central, and southwestern Africa with a small isolated population in Iran.    

How fast can a cheetah run?

Cheetahs can reach top speeds of 60 to 70mph, but only for short stints of time for about 30 seconds to a minute.