San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park Are Open!

Following the guidance set forth from local, state, and federal agencies, please familiarize yourself with our reopening guidelines.


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



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.

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