Park Wildlife
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Shiley's Cheetah Run—included with ALL safaris!

Daily at 3:30 p.m., weather permitting.

Witness the fastest land mammal up close and personal doing what it does best: run! Shiley's Cheetah Run, located near Lion Camp, is a unique, jaw-dropping experience. Watch a cheetah dash on a 330-foot-long track that allows it to really stretch its legs and reach an astounding speed: 0 to 70 miles per hour in just 4 seconds while chasing a mechanical lure attached to its favorite toy. If you're close enough, you may feel the wind as the cheetah passes by. Cheetah Run is made possible through the generosity of local philanthropist Darlene Shiley and is named in honor of Shiley, one of the participating cheetahs.


Long and lanky, cheetahs are the sprinters of the cat world. Their bodies are uniquely designed to run very fast for fairly short distances, allowing them to catch prey that other big cats can’t get.

The cheetahs’ ability to run starts with their flexible spine, which allows their front legs to stretch far forward on each stride. Their claws are hard and sharp like cleats, giving them great traction when they run.

Cheetahs are quite vocal, making a unique, bird-like sound called a “chirrup” when they’re excited. Mothers use the same sound to call their cubs. They also purr, growl, snarl, hiss, cough, moan, and bleat, but cheetahs cannot roar like lions or tigers do. Researchers have learned that, during breeding season, cheetahs make a unique sound called a “stutter bark,” and recordings of this bark have been used to help get our females “in the mood.”

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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15500 San Pasqual Valley Road
Escondido, CA 92027-7017
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