A coalition of cheetahs has been bringing traffic to a standstill at Longleat Safari & Adventure Park this Easter.
The Wiltshire attraction officially opened its brand new drive-through Cheetah Kingdom at the weekend and it’s already proving popular with visitors.
The Safari Park is home to a group, or coalition, of seven cheetahs; four males and three females and the public were allowed in to their grassland enclosure for the first time on Saturday.
Deputy head keeper Ian Turner said: “The cheetahs have been settling in for the past few months but this was the first time that we had allowed vehicles to drive in amongst them.
“To be honest the cheetahs took the whole experience very much in their stride and were quite happy to come right up to the cars.
“This resulted in some amazingly close encounters for the visitors but did mean that we had difficulty persuading some of the drivers to move on!
“They are amazingly graceful animals and watching them run at speed is astonishing,” he added.
The cheetahs are now the third big cats on display at Longleat alongside their world-famous lion prides and tigers.
Cheetahs are the world’s fastest land animals; capable of top speeds of 71 miles per hour. While running they can cover four strides in a second with each stride measuring up to eight metres.
The name cheetah originates from the Sanskrit word ‘chitraka’ which means ‘variegated’ or ‘sprinkled’ body.