The San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park are temporarily closed. For assistance, please ask our Chat Bot, or click here to email us.   READ MORE ▸

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Panorama of a Safari Park field exhibit with giraffes, water buffalo, and rhinos


White rhino with calf


Although the Zoo and Safari Park are temporarily closed, our team of dedicated specialists continue to care for the animals and plants that depend on us each and every day.

Your continued support is more critical now than ever before and will provide a vital lifeline to the wildlife in our care.




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

The cheetahs’ ability to run starts with their flexible spine. It allows their front legs to stretch far forward on each stride. Cheetah claws are hard and sharp like cleats, giving them great traction when they run. You can watch a cheetah run at full speed after a mechanical lure daily, during the Park’s popular Cheetah Run.

Cheetahs are quite vocal. They make a unique, bird-like sound called a “chirrup” when excited. Mothers use the same sound to call to their cubs. They also purr, growl, snarl, hiss, cough, moan, and bleat, but cheetahs cannot roar like lions or tigers do.

Enjoy the view of our cheetahs and their view of the African Plains beyond, in African Outpost.

Free! Living Legends - San Diego Zoo 100. Help save wildlife in our newest puzzle game.