Busch Gardens’ newest animal residents, the cheetahs, ran across the field at St. Petersburg’s Tropicana Field, home to the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team. It was a part of the Saving a Species program which is a video series for Shamu TV which is broadcasted by local educational cable channels, ITV and PBS stations throughout the United States.
The stadium was locked down to outside visitors with the turf marked for the St. Petersburg Bowl football game. The cheetahs were then encouraged to run the length of the field. They were chasing a lure system identical to the one in their Cheetah Run habitat at Busch Gardens.
While Busch Gardens has a large Cheetah Run habitat at the park, the 100-yard football field gave them the opportunity to showcase what the speed looks like on a field that people can relate to, said Tim Smith, an assistant curator at Busch Gardens. Here is a clip of what the TV special will feature. The cheetahs efforts were captured by high-definition, slow-motion cameras:
The 25-minute program is available to teachers and broadcasters free of charge. It will broadcast on satellite on Friday, March 9, 2012. More information is available at ShamuTV.com.