Cheetah escapes zoo, eats bicycle
For those who enjoyed my post about cheetahs on the airplane, you may also like this post, which also concerns both a cheetah and a vehicle, albeit on the other side of the pond.
The BBC and other news outlets in the United Kingdom are reporting on a 3-year old cheetah named Akea which escaped from the Hammerton Zoo. It was discovered by 9-year old Toby Taylor in his back yard.
Toby had been playing on his bike when he saw the 6ft-long cat, capable of reaching speeds of 75mph, standing 15ft away. Dropping his bicycle, he ran 40ft to the house, where he watched the big cat sink its claws into the bike’s tyres and take a chunk out of its leather seat. “I panicked,” he said. “It looked massive, really scary. I thought it would attack me. I ran as fast as I could.”
Zoo officials came and were able to safely retrieve the cat. They dismissed the idea that Akea posed a threat, saying the hand-reared animal is “completely tame.” Apparently the cat’s escape was facilitated by a faulty electric fence which has since been replaced.
Toby’s mom indicated the experience was “very scary.” She added the observation that “you don’t expect a cheetah in your garden.” Indeed not.