How Fast Can a Cheetah Run 100 Meters?

The fastest timed 100-meter run for any living creature was by a cheetah, Sarah, at the Cincinnati Zoo, who ran the distance in 5.95 seconds at 61 miles an hour on June 20, 2012. After the race, Sarah was featured in National Geographic's November 2012 issue. It is important to note, however, that cheetahs, much like humans, are each unique and may have different speeds based on age, strength and environment.

During the timed 100-meter trials at the Cincinnati Zoo, five cheetahs total were timed for the 100-meter dash. Sarah was the fastest at 5.95 seconds, and the slowest was achieved by a young male cheetah, who ran the 100 meters in 9.97 seconds.

While 5.95 seconds is the fastest on record, it is believed that cheetahs in the wild can beat Sarah's time. This is due to the fact that cheetahs in the wild are likely to be more agile and active as a result of running for survival rather than sport and science. Chasing an antelope in the wild may spur a hungry cheetah to run faster than simply running a race in an enclosed testing area at a zoo, where the cheetah knows that it will be fed no matter what its speed.