Sarah, the world's fastest captive cheetah, put down

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Baku, January 23, AZERTAC

Sarah, the world's fastest captive cheetah which was once recorded running at 61mph, has been put to sleep at Cincinnati zoo, according to The Telegraph.

The decision to put down the 15-year-old animal was taken because the quality of her life had deteriorated, the zoo said.

Sarah had already outlasted the average lifespan of a cheetah by at least three years.

She claimed the title of the world's fastest captive cheetah during the filming of a National Geographic documentary in 2012, when she covered 100 metres in 5.95 seconds, shattering her previous record of 6.13 seconds.

One of the magazine's editors described Sarah as resembling a "polka-dotted missile".

Usain Bolt, the Olympic sprinter and world's fastest man, has run 100 metres in 9.58 seconds.

Sarah had been raised at the zoo since being brought there as a cub, when she was only six weeks old.

She was also one of the first cheetah cubs to be raised alongside a puppy, Alexa, an Anatolian shepherd.

The two animals were inseparable companions until Alexa retired.

For much of her time at the zoo Sarah was seen as a "ambassador for her species".

"She was a dynamic individual and we were privileged to know her and learn from her," the trainer, Linda Castaneda, said in the zoo's statement. "We will all miss the princess cat."

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