Two Houston Zoo cheetahs recently had a chance to stretch their legs on a run, and their stunning speed was caught on camera.
"They need about 600 feet," Beth Schaefer, the zoo's curator of primates and carnivores told The Houston Chronicle. "We don't have that straightaway anywhere on zoo grounds."
The five-year-old brothers, Kito and Kiburi, were taken to the fenced turf horse racing track at Sam Houston Park and even taken off their leash during the last two visits.
As male cheetahs tend to form small "coalitions" of two to four brothers, Kito and Kiburi seemed extremely comfortable together on the track.
"They were so calm it was amazing," Schaefer told The Houston Chronicle. "It was like they had been there every day of their lives. We think because it's so wide open. Cheetahs on the plains are comfortable with wide-open spaces."
The world's fastest land mammals, cheetahs are listed as vulnerable on the World Conservation Union's (IUCN's) Red List of Threatened Species. Though their primary habitat was in Africa, cheetahs have now vanished from 76 percent of their landscape on the continent.
Cheetahs can run up to 64 miles per hour, and can reach up to 45 miles per hour in 2.5 seconds.