CINCINNATI (AP) — The Cincinnati Zoo says a 15-year-old cheetah once featured on a National Geographic special has been euthanized.
The zoo's veterinary staff euthanized Sahara on Wednesday, citing a diminishing quality of life. The average lifespan for cheetahs is eight to 12 years.
Sahara ran 100 meters in 5.95 seconds during a National Geographic special in 2012 and reached a top speed of 61 mph. That's 3 seconds faster than the human record held by Usain Bolt of Jamaica.
She also visited schools and raised awareness about the endangered species. The zoo says the population has shrunk to approximately 9,000 worldwide.
Sahara was brought to be Cincinnati when she was 6 weeks old and was raised alongside an Anatolian shepherd puppy named Alexa.