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Built for speed, brother cheetahs Koda and Diesel arrived at Zoo Miami in November, 2012 at the age of 11 months. Cheetahs are carnivores, interested in prey such as Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelle, springbok, impala and (when hunting in groups) larger animals such as wildebeest and zebra. They tend to hunt early in the morning or later in the evening, when temperatures are a bit cooler.

Our Cheetahs

Known for their incredible speed and spotted fur, cheetahs have secured the record for the fastest land animal in the world. They can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in about five seconds! Zoo Miami recently became home to a couple of these fast felines, Koda and Diesel. These two brothers, both 11 months old, were brought to Zoo Miami from the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre in South Africa in November 2012. Koda, whose name means “friend” in the Native American Sioux language, was named by his benefactors, although he did earn himself a nickname while in South Africa: "Joe Cool". This affectionate nickname was given to him because of his proud and aloof behavior. While he is quite social and interactive, he tends to act a bit more hard-to-get than his brother. Diesel is just a bit smaller than Koda, weighing 65 pounds. His name was chosen by popular demand, in a naming contest that was open to Zoo Miami fans. He is very playful and friendly, and wastes no time pretending to be hard to get. These brothers are pretty close, spending lots of time running around with each other and playing around with just about anything they can get their paws on. To them, everything is a toy, including each other! Keepers keep these cats entertained with soccer balls, basketballs, and scratching posts. But with razor sharp teeth and claws like theirs, these toys don’t stand much of a chance. Keepers are always replacing shredded toys! Koda and Diesel are also kept busy during their practice sessions for the daily Wildlife Presentations at the Sami Family Amphitheater. They are learning how to jump and walk around on stage, and according to keepers, they are loving every second of it! Keepers are working up to being able to walk the cheetahs around the zoo and take them to venues off zoo grounds to raise awareness about cheetah conservation efforts.

Photo Gallery

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Adopt an Animal

There are many different ways to support your favorite Zoo Miami animal. Adopting an animal is a great way to say thank you to the animals that make your visits to the zoo special. When you become an annual sponsor, your tax-deductible gift will help our zoo keepers feed, care for, and enrich the lives of our special animal residents.

Support Zoo Miami by Donating Today

General support of Zoo Miami and the Zoological Society of Florida ensures that our commitment to education, conservation, animal care, and serving the community is fulfilled. There are many ways to give and show your support, from supporting an event or program at the zoo, capital support for new exhibits, or honoring a loved one. We are here to serve the community and we can do so much more with your support!

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Have you been to Zoo Miami lately? Did you take a great photo or video? If so, we'd love to see your work. Submit your photos or videos to have them featured here on our site.