Sharing moments in time…

Flying Cheetah….


I had the pleasure earlier this week to go out and visit the San Diego Wild Animal Park – part of the incredible San Diego Zoo.  While I have been to the zoo numerous times over the years (we live only a few blocks away), I had only been to the Park once – many years ago.  It is a great place to visit and see many species in something approaching their native habitat.  One attraction I was unaware of is the afternoon Cheetah run.  They have a 110 yard long Cheetah track (100 yd run and 10 yds to stop) where they demonstrate the Cheetahs incredible acceleration and speed to the crowd.  The lure him down the track with his favorite toy dragged in front of him and with the promise of a great meal at the end of the run.  It was also interesting that they had a big shaggy white dog, who is paired with the Cheetah as a “pal”, do the run first so that the Cheetah would know that it was alright to do it.  In any case, it was FAST!  I got several shots during the run but I liked this one best because it really was flying.

Better acceleration than our Corvette!!

If you ever get out this way, this is something worth seeing.  And OBTW – it really does accelerate faster than a Corvette – zero to sixty in 3+ seconds!! (versus 4+ for the 400 horsepower sportscar)

16 responses

  1. Wow, amazing to see the Cheetah run (although a bit sad that the cat is captive). Love the story about the white dog. 🙂 Great photo.

    October 21, 2011 at 7:28 am

    • Thanks Katie, I was a neat end to a nice afternoon – and it was very interesting to see the Cheetah up close an personal, interact with both the trainers and the dog. Lots of affection from all parties!

      October 21, 2011 at 3:00 pm

  2. I missed out on the cheetah run when I visited the zoo (sadly, it was down for maintenance). But I did find out that the dogs are a buddy system for the cheetahs. They’re there to teach the cheetahs to be calm, mellow, happy, and less skittish. Superb photo!

    October 21, 2011 at 7:39 am

    • Hi Jacqueline, too bad you missed it – you’ll have to come back! The dog and the cat had amazing chemistry together – really great to watch.

      October 21, 2011 at 3:02 pm

  3. obrienspix

    That sound so cool. Kinda like the greyhound races…the dogs being led around by a fake rabbit. Awesome picture.

    October 21, 2011 at 8:50 am

    • It was also interesting that you actually hear the Cheetah breath as he went by – and his foot plants sounded just like a horse race!

      October 21, 2011 at 3:03 pm

  4. Great shot!. It’s interesting to see him with all four feet off the ground as he runs. It is amazing how you can stop the action with such clarity at that speed. I will have to experiment with my “point and shoot” Nikon P 100. I can set the shutter speed at 1/2000 on the S setting or use the automatic “action” setting for 10 ten megapixel shots per second, but even then it would take a lot of practice to actually get him in the frame even though I have a 26x optical zoom. I doubt if my camera would come any where close to that clarity. It is interesting to see someone skilled with a good camera get great action shots like this one. You would have had fun at the Miramar Air Show a few week-ends ago. An F18 flew about 200 feet over me in the parking lot at around 500 mph at the Friday show. He set off over 100 car alarms. Thanks for posting! I am looking forward to seeing more.

    October 21, 2011 at 9:02 am

    • Hi Kent – lots to learn but thats where the fun is. You’ll have lots of opportunities to experiment – some you throw away and sometimes you will amaze yourself!

      October 21, 2011 at 3:05 pm

  5. another marvelous capture. His power is evident and he has such a determined look in his eyes.

    October 21, 2011 at 10:30 am

    • Hi Maggie – the Park is a great place for photographers. I have some other shots to post from there that are pretty cool and one that I think is very amusing 🙂

      October 21, 2011 at 3:07 pm

  6. Awesome photo – I’m speechless!

    October 21, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    • Thank you for the kind comment on the photo – but it is the animal that is truly awesome – I was just lucky enough to capture a moment of it….I’m really glad you liked it!

      October 21, 2011 at 4:14 pm

  7. Awesome photo…thanks.

    ☮ Siggi in Downeast Maine

    October 21, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    • Thanks Siggi. I love the “opportunity” to capture some of these incredible creatures in action.

      October 21, 2011 at 8:16 pm

  8. What an amazing photo and what an incredible animal!

    October 22, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    • Thanks Alisa – it was a pleasure to watch and to share.

      October 22, 2011 at 6:44 pm

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