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Cheetah Hunt

Cheetah Hunt at Busch Gardens

Cheetah Hunt at Busch Gardens.

Busch Gardens, near Tampa, has some amazing roller coasters – but that’s not all, it also has animals, plenty of them – from giraffes to elephants, rhinos to cheetahs. So it is no surprise that this roller coaster combines both. Called ‘Cheetah Hunt,’ this roller coaster opened in the late spring of 2011 and it will be themed around those large cats, the cheetahs. Busch Gardens, of course, has three world class roller coasters already – ‘Kumba,’ ‘Montu’ and ‘Gwazi,’ but this new coaster is set to beat them all with its innovation and speed.

Cheetah Hunt’ is Busch Garden’s longest roller coaster at 4,429ft, and it mimics the speed and agility of a cheetah. The total ride time, including loading and unloading is three and a half minutes, with the actual ride lasting one minute 20 seconds. Cheetah Hunt is a launch coaster, with three acceleration points, one of which propels the riders from zero to 60 mph in a matter of seconds. There is also an inversion and a 130 ft drop into an underground trench. Most interestingly, part of the ride speeds across part of the Serengeti Plain at speeds of up to 60 mph.

For those roller coaster buffs who also like statistics, Cheetah Hunt is a Linear Synchronous Motor Launch coaster, with more than three quarters of a mile of track. This system uses the force of repelling magnets to launch its riders from 0 to 60 mph in a matter of seconds. In fact, this motor will do so three times during the ride. It will exert forces of up to 4G, and its peak height will be 102 ft – truly scary! There will be five trains, each with a total of 16 passengers, and it is expected that 1370 passengers will ride this coaster each hour. There is a height restriction of 48 inches, so younger children will be excluded.

The coaster starts with a launch which propels the train out of the station, which was once the former monorail station, and into the grassland surrounding the area. It is only a few moments later that the second acceleration takes place, propelling riders to 60 mph and up to the tower which climbs over 10 stories above the African countryside. It will then plunge 130 ft into a subterranean trench before its final section where there is a third burst of speed as the train catapults itself back across the plain an into the station. For those experts in roller coasters there will be heartline roll inversions, air time parabolas and over-banked turns. Or to the layman, pretty scary manoeuvres!

In addition to this there is a new cheetah habitat where visitors can view the cheetahs close up. In order to give visitors the very best view of these, the fastest land animal, there is a glass paneled viewing area overlooking the plains. Five cheetahs have already arrived on site ready for the opening of this new cheetah habitat, and in addition, there will be touch screen panels with educational information.

And if all that wasn’t enough there has been some exciting news with the arrival of a new baby cheetah last month. This little cub was born to a mother who was unable to care for him, which meant he was losing weight. The decision was made to hand raise him and he is now doing well, growing stronger, putting on weight and exploring his new home. Although he was not born at Busch Gardens he was brought there on the recommendation of the SSP (Species Survival Plan) from Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. At the moment he requires regular feeding round the clock, but when he is a little older he will join the group of cheetahs who will live in the Cheetah Run alongside the new Cheetah Hunt roller coaster. It is also hoped that, when he matures he could become part of the breeding programme which will help boost the numbers of these critically endangered cheetahs. Sadly, only about 12,000 cheetahs remain in the world.

I know my children can’t wait to try out this new roller coaster. As for me, well I will be quite happy to keep my feet firmly on the ground, and watch the wonderful cheetahs in their habitat.

Submitted by "ellie" Her property is here Perfect Florida Villas