Cheetah: The Race for Survival

The Indianapolis Zoo is constantly reinventing itself. Whether they are hosting fun Indianapolis 500 related events like the Zoopolis 500 or introducing a new Butterflies exhibit in their White River Gardens, the Indianapolis Zoo provides a place to get in touch with some of Mother Nature’s most fascinating creatures. The Indianapolis Zoo welcomes Cheetah: The Race for Survival opening Saturday, May 29, 2010 in Indianapolis downtown. As part of the Indianapolis Zoo’s reputations for conservation, their Cheetah: The Race for Survival exhibit hopes to educate Indianapolis people about this endangered species. Included in the regular price of admission to the Indianapolis Zoo, this Indianapolis attraction is not to be missed.

It can accelerate from zero to 70 miles per hour in three seconds. Physically the cheetah is designed to be an aerobic machine, with immense nostrils that pour oxygen into its over sized lungs and heart as it chases down its prey. The cheetah can take an astonishing 150 breaths per minute. With semi-retractable claws that dig into the soil and a tail that flows from side to side in rudder like fashion, the cheetah is able to make sharp turns at high speeds. With skills like this, this feline makes even the most graceful gazelle look clumsy by comparison. Its penetrating yellow eyes are set high on its head, with black tear lines to shield its vision from the sun. And when it stalks through the tall grass of the African plains, its golden spotted coat provides both stealth and camouflage. This fearsome creature purrs at rest, but never roars.

The cheetah is a magnificent animal, one of the fastest creatures on land and one of the most regal in all of the animal kingdom. A standout among big cats even, for its habit of daylight hunting by sight instead of scent, the cheetah keeps its claws constantly visible. But these incredible creatures face the great danger of extinction. Keeping them a part of our planet is possible, but the window of time is closing soon.

This Saturday, May 29, 2010, the Indianapolis Zoo opens its newest exhibit Cheetah: The Race for Survival in an effort to shed light on the growing endangerment of these big cats. Admired for their grace, speed and beauty, cheetahs face a number of obstacles to survival. Their numbers are dwindling and they are unable to reproduce fast enough to guarantee future generations in their native lands of Africa and Asia.

There is no doubt that the situation looks bleak, but it’s not hopeless. Conservationists are working tirelessly every day to prevent the extinction of these fierce animals. The Indianapolis Zoo is working with one of the most well known conservationist to present Cheetah: The Race for Survival to the Indianapolis community. Dr. Laurie Marker founded the Cheetah Conservation Fund. As the executive director, her organization reaches from its headquarters in Namibia to share the story of the cheetah’s fight for survival with people around the world.

Dr. Marker was closely involved with designing an accurate habitat for the Indianapolis Zoo’s new cheetah exhibit. The nearly 20,000 square foot facility includes valuable information about the Fund’s mission and how the Fund is working to save wild cheetahs. In fact, the Cheetah Conservation Fund will benefit directly from these parts of the exhibit.

Video: Cheetah: The Race for Survival at the Indianapolis Zoo, Indiana


In an effort to spur public action to save the cheetahs, the Indianapolis Zoo’s exhibit will present extraordinary viewpoints of these fascinating animals. Visitors will be immersed in the cheetah’s environment from the moment they enter the exhibit in the African Plains Biome. Parted by one segment of a visitor path, the cheetahs will roam between two distinct areas. Strategically placed trees and rock outcrops will allow for both close viewing by humans and a feeling of ease and security for the cheetahs.

Also included in this exhibit are bat-eared foxes and hornbills, two other species from the central Savannah of Africa. The fox is known for its enormous ears, which allow it to hear the faint movements of insects and other small prey. The Hornbill bird has an over sized bill that allows for the bird to access similar prey. The downward pointing bill does in fact resemble the horn of a cow.

In addition, the exhibit will also contain another unique feature: a performance area where guard dogs will demonstrate how they protect livestock from free roaming cheetahs in Africa. Guests will be able to ask questions of the staff, watch the training demonstration with the cheetahs and meet a Kangal dog. Get involved with cheetah conservation while you are there and sign up to receive more information about special Zoo conservation.

The Indianapolis Zoo has prime Indianapolis real estate near the Indianapolis Canal Walk, White River State Park, the Indiana State Museum and the Eiteljorg Museum. After your trip to the Indianapolis Zoo, enjoy any of these Indianapolis museums. Or treat yourself to a delectable meal at any of these scrumptious Indianapolis restaurants or Indianapolis bars.

Stay tuned to Indianapolis News, Events and Information on Fun City for all the latest on fun things to do in Indianapolis. We cover Indianapolis arts to Indianapolis sports and everything in between. Get out in Indy and find some fun! Make the Circle City your playground.

Cheetah: The Race for Survival
Opens Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Indianapolis Zoo
1200 W Washington St
Indianapolis, IN 46222


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